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Past Events
19 June 2019 (1)

The Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan—the first year in

Event date: 19 June 2019

Form Submission 11768: Hunter Live - 19 June 2019 - speakers

Sparke Helmore partnered with PwC Australia to host a Hunter Live event at Merewether Surfhouse on Wednesday 19 June. Amy Etherton, Director, PwC opened the event to a full house of around 100 attendees.

The panel discussion facilitated by Richard Anicich AM, Consultant, Sparke Helmore and Chair of the Committee for the Hunter featured guest speakers; Paul Doorn, CEO, Venues NSW, Gillian Geraghty, Executive Director, Northern Region, Health Infrastructure and Joe James, CEO, Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils (Hunter JO). The event touched on three key areas of the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036, the Broadmeadow precinct, the John Hunter Hospital and Innovation precinct and the focus of the Hunter JO.

Paul mentioned that the 63 hectare Broadmeadow site aims to be a centre of excellence with the precinct to drive tourism to the region and boost the Hunter economy. The business case for this site is still underway, however, Paul is looking towards the success of the Honeysuckle precinct and how bringing businesses to the area boosts the social infrastructure of the precinct.

Gillian is leading not just a hospital redevelopment but a precinct redevelopment that aims to incorporate health, education and innovation with the new precinct to create an additional 8,000 jobs in the Hunter. She mentioned that this is the most challenging site she has seen, being set on a ridgeline, previous mine site, and land contamination. Their aim is to improve on what the John Hunter is already ‘a world class facility delivering tertiary healthcare, day in and day out’.  An allocation of $780m for the first phase of this development received bi-partisan support in the lead up to the recent State election and featured in the recent NSW Budget.

The Hunter JO’s focus is to advocate for our region and ensure the Hunter sets itself apart from all other regions in proposals to Government for funding. Joe mentioned that we need to define our proposals to make them distinctive to the Hunter and collaborate on shared interests. The Hunter JO has a number of transformational projects on their radar including the diversification of the Port, Newcastle Airport precinct upgrade and creating a unified approach to the Hunter being a smart region.

The Hunter region has already changed significantly over the years and the transformation is set to continue as set out in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan, changing the face of Newcastle as the regional capital of the Hunter and Australia’s seventh largest city and global gateway for northern NSW with world-class sports, education and healthcare precincts.

14 August 2018 (1)

How will the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan affect the region?

Event Date: 14 August 2018

Around 70 guests from the business community attended the Hunter Live event held in the Sparke Helmore Newcastle office to discuss the soon to be released Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan, which will be the first of its kind for the Region. The Plan is a blueprint for the strategies and actions that will drive sustainable growth and ensure Newcastle is one of Australia’s most dynamic and vibrant metropolitan cities.

The panellists included Monica Gibson, who is the Director Regions, Hunter at Department of Planning and Environment, Anna Chubb, the Director, Strategy and Asset Management at Hunter Development Corporation and Richard Anicich, a Consultant and former Partner at Sparke Helmore and Chair of the recently formed Committee for the Hunter.

The introduction to the draft Plan notes that “as Australia’s seventh largest city, Greater Newcastle faces a new future with investment in aviation, transport, education, health and tourism”. The draft Plan is a subset of the broader Hunter Regional Plan 2036 which sets out a vision for the Hunter Region “as being the leading regional economy in Australia” with a vibrant new metropolitan city at is heart.   

Richard noted that “there is recognition that Newcastle and the Hunter Region is on the cusp of significant change and opportunities to evolve as the leading second city in Australia as an alternative to increasingly congested State capital cities. Newcastle is recognised in various State planning strategies as a ‘global gateway city’”.

The panel discussed the Plan in detail, including vision outlined in the Plan, how essential collaboration will be to achieve the goals in the Plan and how concerns raised about the draft Plan will be addressed in the final Plan. There was also discussion about how to bring business, government and community together to create a thriving city and the business community’s obligations to realise the opportunities across the region.

Hunter Live - 14 August 2018 - How will the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan affect the region? 1

Hunter Live - 14 August 2018 - How will the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan affect the region? 2


Alan McKelvey
Alan McKelvey
Sparke Helmore Lawyers
t: +61 2 4924 7309+61 2 4924 7309
m: +61 410 459 853+61 410 459 853
o: Newcastle
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Angela Higgins
Angela Higgins
PwC Australia
t: +61 2 4925 1129+61 2 4925 1129
m: +61 403 391 702+61 403 391 702
o: Newcastle
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