The Hunter Business Chamber has welcomed the inclusion of the Newcastle Airport expansion and the Broadmeadow precinct as Priority Initiatives on the 2021 Infrastructure Australia Priority List, issued today.
The national list identifies $59 billion in priority projects and initiatives in its annual review of Australia’s infrastructure needs. This year’s list has been influenced by the impacts on COVID-19 on issues such as international and regional migration and national security.
“We are pleased to see that Infrastructure Australia has acknowledged the importance of the Newcastle Airport expansion and Broadmeadow urban revitalisation precint by endorsing them as Priority Initiatives in this year’s list,” Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said.
“These projects have been part of the Chamber’s regional advocacy platform for a number of years and this recognition of their significance will help to persuade decision makers that they will contribute to the national economy and are worthy of support.
“We know that increasing the capacity of Newcastle Airport will drive billions of dollars in freight and tourism business for the Hunter and surrounding regions, creating thousands of jobs and enhancing the diversification of our economy.
“In addition, COVID has highlighted the benefit of having an alternative international flight gateway into and out of NSW in times of crisis.
“The inclusion of Hunter Park at Broadmeadow provides strong motivation to move the project forward with a full business case. “Hunter Park presents a unique opportunity that is important to a growing regional economy in terms of continuing urban regeneration and realising our aspirations to be a hub for high-level entertainment and sporting events.”
Mr Hawes welcomed Infrastructure Australia’s focus on the regions in the 2021 Priority List, which also highlights the need for a greater focus on addressing problems and opportunities arising from the changing energy market.
The list notes the need for firming generation to ensure energy network security as a high national priority, along with the expansion of Renewable Energy Zones to increase generation from renewable sources.