The Hunter region’s peak business group, Business Hunter has welcomed the Greater Cities Commission (GCC) Six Cities Discussion Paper.
Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes said Business Hunter looks forward to working with the GCC and a range of stakeholders from across the region in order to understand, assess and execute the Six Cities vision.
“There is a lot of content in the 68 page document, and challenging issues including inclusion, connectivity, housing supply, diversity and affordability, infrastructure provision, employment and talent attraction and climate resilience are all in scope,” Mr Hawes said.
“The GCC growth strategy is yet another piece in the jig saw that seeks to ensure we get an integrated approach and a targeted emphasis on solutions that will unlock jobs and economic growth and deliver productivity in a sustainable and community minded manner.
“The Paper also acknowledges the significance of the new energy economy and how it will contribute significantly to the drive to net zero emissions. The Hunter region is front and centre for investment and industry growth in this context and further recognition of this across government instrumentalities is vital for our case for support to deliver on the new energy plans.”
“The paper also calls out innovation and technology as a driver and the advances we are making in the Hunter in Defence and aerospace, Med-Tech, advanced manufacturing and leveraging of the richness we have in research institutes as well as the University of Newcastle show we can make a meaningful contribution to growth that will have economic pulses felt well beyond our city borders and across the six cities realm”
Elements within the Discussion Paper draw out and note the need for an integrated approach to make sure the generative capacity of, for example, the transport and logistics links produces a far greater outcome than if the respective regions were left to contend on their own.
“This is good news for our regional gateways like the Newcastle Airport and the Port of Newcastle, both of which have ambitious plans for growth.”
Mr Hawes said like all Discussion Papers, the principles appear sound, and the true test of the document and the strategy will be in the detail.
“We look forward to engaging with the region’s stakeholders and Government to fully understand the elements and impacts of the Strategy as well as the implementation of City Plans,” he said.
“The Hunter Region is already on a growth pathway and our opportunities and challenges are well documented. This Strategy needs to be attuned to this and we need to make sure it sets a platform from which our region and the broader six cities can elevate in the future.”