THE HUNTER REGION IS HOME TO OVER 9% OF THE NSW POPULATION AND IS THE LARGEST GROWTH CENTRE IN NSW OUTSIDE THE SYDNEY BASIN.

The Hunter offers steadily growing employment and investment opportunities across the region as well as a quality lifestyle. It is predicted that the Hunter will become home to a population of one million people within the next thirty to forty years.

The economy of the Hunter enjoys a number of strengths and makes a significant contribution to the Australian economy. The region is rich in resources and underpinned by the world’s best quality coal, natural water resources, significant electricity generation capacity, an innovative manufacturing sector and a progressive business culture.

The region boasts leading research and education facilities, world class wine and equine industries, vibrant cultural and tourism opportunities and a quality lifestyle for its population. The Hunter is positioning itself strongly as a world-class regional centre. The Hunter’s location on Australia’s eastern seaboard, between Melbourne and Brisbane, and two hours’ drive from Sydney together with an impressive transport infrastructure gives the region a competitive edge in accessing Australian and international markets.

Newcastle is poised to become a leading, globally competitive city. It is Australia’s seventh largest city and is the regional capital serving the Lower Hunter and the Upper Hunter and parts of the Central Coast, as well as the major city in the northern part of an integrated Greater Metropolitan Region. The transformation of the city is evident in the larger scale and efficient commercial, transport and residential construction investment and the associated improvements in productivity.

The Hunter region relates to a geographical area comprising the following eleven local government areas, Cessnock, Dungog, Gloucester, Great Lakes, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens Singleton, Upper Hunter.

THE NSW GOVERNMENT OFFERS SUPPORT FOR RELOCATING TO THE HUNTER

Regional NSW communities make a significant contribution to the State’s economy. They are resilient, and by working in partnership with people living in these communities the NSW Government is supporting them to remain sustainable and to grow.

NSW Trade & Investment provides a range of special services and programs to assist the regions of NSW meet the challenges that confront them. These challenges are most effectively met through a partnership between government, businesses and communities.

As economic conditions change, the Department has programs to address both longstanding and emerging economic development issues in regional NSW.

For more information visit www.business.nsw.gov.au/assistance-and-support/grants/regional-programs

The Hunter currently comprises around 8% of economic activity in New South Wales, with regional output of approximately $48 billion in 2017 (based on Deloitte Access Economics modelling) — making it Australia’s largest regional economy.

The Hunter economy has quite distinct industry bases. With strong foundations in mining and agriculture it has also undergone substantial structural changes over the past two decades, including considerable expansion in broad service sectors. The Hunter economy also has an increasing focus on innovation and intellectual resources, making existing industries more efficient, gaining new global markets and creating new industries that will hold the Hunter in good stead for the future.

The 2019 Hunter Investment Prospectus provides a detailed overview of the Hunter and its advantages as a location to invest, do business and live.

2019 Hunter Investment Prospectus (16,487KB)

RDA HUNTER’S VISION FOR THE REGION IS FOR THE CONTINUING GROWTH OF A VIBRANT AND SUSTAINABLE REGIONAL ECONOMY IN A CARBON CONSTRAINED FUTURE.

The Hunter Regional Plan describes the strategic approach for the region to achieve the Vision for the Hunter.

Hunter Plan for Growth 2016-2019 (2082 KB)

RDA Hunter consulted widely throughout 2010 and encouraged discussion with regional partners and government to identify infrastructure priorities. The input from these forums is summarised at Appendix 1, using the seven themes for action identified by Infrastructure Australia as the most important infrastructure objectives for the nation.

These discussions confirmed Infrastructure Australia’s view that “world class infrastructure networks are essential to driving sustainable economic development and growth, lifting levels of productivity and boosting employment”. This is as relevant to the Hunter, as it is to Australia.

Infrastructure (Connecting the Hunter) 345KB

THE HUNTER IS AUSTRALIA’S SEVENTH LARGEST CENTRE AND LARGEST REGIONAL ECONOMY AT $37 BILLION. IT HAS SIGNIFICANT EXPOSURE TO RESOURCES, AGRICULTURE, ENERGY PRODUCTION, DEFENCE AND SERVICE INDUSTRY BASES. DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS IDENTIFIES THE PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES FOR THE REGION’S FUTURE.

This study has examined the longer term influences which are likely to shape the Hunter economy over the next two decades, both across the lower and upper parts of the region. The study contains a number of possible actions and priorities, relevant to both government and business, for enhancing the region’s economic potential going forward and to drive a more dynamic and sustainable region.

Prospects and Challenges for the Hunter (1168 KB)

THIS REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT PLAN GUIDES SPECIFIC STRATEGIES THAT RESPOND TO THE EMPLOYMENT, TRAINING AND PARTICIPATION CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IDENTIFIED ACROSS THE CENTRAL COAST AND THE LOWER HUNTER AND GREAT LAKES REGIONS OF THE CENTRAL COAST-HUNTER PRIORITY EMPLOYMENT AREA.

The goals identified in this regional employment plan will be achieved through partnerships with many stakeholders in the regions, including eight local councils, all levels of government operating in the area, the Local Employment Coordinator Advisory Committees and local employment services providers.

This regional employment plan identifies challenges and opportunities for the area in employment, job creation and regional capacity. It sets out goals and specific strategies to take up these opportunities and address these challenges.

Regional Economic Plan (770 KB)
The Hunter Region: An Economic Profile (432 KB)

A STUDY OF THE HUNTER’S ECONOMIC DIVERSITY FOLLOWING THE CLOSURE OF BHP’S STEEL MAKING OPERATIONS IN 1999.

One of the most significant events which occurred in the Hunter Region in the period between 1995 and 2010 was the closure of BHP Steelworks in 1999 (rod production remained). This had been announced two years in advance. By the time of the actual closure, the direct and indirect job losses were expected to total 4,500. However, employment at BHP started to decline a long time before (as described in the previous section).

In 1998 an online survey of the business community, and members of the Hunter community, was undertaken to examine the perceived likely effect of the BHP closure. The majority of people who took part in the survey were fearful of potential negative impacts of the BHP closure, especially of the effect on the Hunter economy, with the perception of business representatives being the least negative.

The Hunter Economy Post BHP (563KB)
The Hunter Region: An Economic Profile (432 KB)

THIS DOCUMENT OUTLINES A PLAN FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN THE HUNTER THROUGH INTEGRATED PLANNING.

In this paper, RDA Hunter presents the case for a strategic and integrated approach as the key to delivering the comprehensive and cohesive long–term urban infrastructure plan necessary to underpin sustainable growth in the Hunter’s population and productivity into the future.

Urban Planning for the Hunter Region (885 KB)