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The draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 (PDF, 6.7MB ) was exhibited from 30 November 2017 until 28 February 2018.

Thank you to everyone who had their say.


The Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan - Consultation report 2018 summarises the range of submissions received in response to each Outcome of the draft plan, the emerging themes, and government responses to feedback. These responses have guided the development of the final Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036. 


For further information please contact the Newcastle office:

  • phone 02 4904 2700
  • email the Hunter office
  • write to: Director, Hunter Region 
    Department of Planning and Environment 
    PO Box 1226
    Newcastle NSW 2300
  • Level 2, 26 Honeysuckle Drive
    Newcastle NSW 2300

Earlier engagement

The draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan 2036 (PDF, 6.7MB) (GNMP) is a result of extensive consultation with business and industry, local government and the wider community during 2017.


The draft GNMP was on exhibition from 30 November 2017 until 28 February 2018.


A report on the outcomes of this engagement is now available.


Feedback included:

  • support for metropolitan scale planning, coordination and leadership
  • desire to maintain local identity and character and avoid congestion, housing affordability pressures and amenity trade-offs, typically experienced in big cities
  • support for improved connectivity to Sydney, while remaining independent and having a self-contained economy
  • recognition of economic opportunities provided by the port, airport, health and education
  • support for a wider variety of housing to support the growing and changing population
  • desire to protect the extensive recreation and environmental networks that provide a great lifestyle for residents
  • desire for more infrastructure and public transport investment to support growth in existing and new development areas.


Stakeholders also said Greater Newcastle provides a great lifestyle because of the ability to:

  • get around easily for their day to day activities
  • see and access the natural environment
  • walk and cycle around
  • maintain their local identity.


Details of this earlier engagement is outlined in the separate Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan Consultation and Engagement Outcomes Report (PDF, 776KB)

Download the report

Past engagement summaries

We crewed a stall with Maitland City Council staff at the Maitland Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival on Saturday, 12 August.


We spoke to around 50 people, and collected 16 personal stories. Many of the people we spoke with lived in Maitland. They spoke of the advantages of living in a central location in the Hunter, as well as the importance of the rural and historic character of the area.


Collectively, the stories we heard highlighted the challenges of infrastructure keeping pace with the high levels of growth happening in and around Maitland. This includes ongoing changes to road and public transport networks, especially as new development is built at Green Hills, and for the new hospital proposed at East Maitland. These stories highlighted the need for precinct-level planning at Green Hills and East Maitland to deal with a complex range of issues and create high quality public places for people.


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Our stall at Maitland Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival

Maryanne and Peter, from Morpeth

Maryanne and Peter moved to Morpeth from Charlestown around 2 years ago. They had lived in Charlestown for over 20 years, but felt it had grown too big and congested.


They rely on their car to get around, especially to work in Wallsend, because public transport links aren’t convenient. Using the car also means they have more freedom to be spontaneous. For example, if the weather is nice, they like to go into Newcastle after work to visit the beach or go for a walk before heading home.


The new hospital proposed at East Maitland makes sense to them, given the level of growth happening nearby. They were concerned that, if not planned appropriately, the growth happening at Green Hills and the new health precinct would lead to unmanageable congestion across East Maitland.


Green space was very important to Maryanne and Peter. They suggested more projects like community gardens would be great in Maitland, because it fits the rural setting of the area.


They would also like better walking and cycling connections between Morpeth and Maitland.


Kimberley, from East Maitland

Kimberly is a ‘tree-changer’ from Sydney. She lives in East Maitland and works in Cessnock. She is happy with her decision to move from the city, with many local activities and the ease of getting around the area. Her favourite places to visit are Newcastle beaches and Hunter Valley vineyards. She also feels lucky to have a major hospital nearby.


Kimberly had many insights into the local identities in Greater Newcastle and thinks metropolitan planning will drive progress by bringing in outsiders’ perspectives, and creating new leadership opportunities.


Kimberly believes Maitland is where Newcastle was around 7 years ago, with ‘Old Maitland’ having to come to terms with ‘New Maitland’. She’s happy to see change, but recognises it will lead to tension in the local community. She would like to see greater leadership from outside to push through the apprehension caused by change.


Kimberly feels Cessnock’s future is not the coalfield town it’s been for generations, and it needs a new culture and identity.

Jane, from Raymond Terrace

Jane lives in Raymond Terrace with her children, who go to school at Waratah. Without a car to get around, Jane feels she would struggle because public transport isn’t convenient for how she uses the area.


Jane uses several centres throughout the Greater Newcastle area for various reasons, typically as far south as Swansea and as far west as Central Maitland. Jane tends to do her shopping wherever she happens to be at the time, and doesn’t tend to use any one centre more than another.


Jane likes to visit Morpeth because it has a lot to offer in terms of arts, diversity and shops. Her family like to exercise together, especially on the weekends. Jane would love to have better connected bike paths, and would love to see a route from Maitland to Morpeth and Lorn. Jane thinks this would be a great way to showcase the area’s history and would be popular with residents and tourists.


Jane is also a big fan of markets, and would love to have a big space somewhere in Greater Newcastle that can host an iconic market, like the Salamanca Market in Hobart.

The Department held a pop-up session at the corner of Charlton and Cooper Street in Cessnock on Saturday 29 July.


We spoke to around 20 people, and mapped 12 more stories, each of which provided more insights to people’s priorities for housing, public transport and green spaces. Most of the people we spoke with believe housing is more affordable in Cessnock than in other parts of Greater Newcastle. They believe this has driven more people to live there, but work elsewhere. Several people felt there are opportunities to make the area more liveable, including offering more events and activities in town centres.


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Our stall in Cessnock


Kara & Adrian, from Cessnock

Kara and Adrian moved to Cessnock from the Central Coast with their kids because house prices were more affordable. They both work in Newcastle.


A typical morning in their household starts with getting the kids ready and dropping them off at childcare . They both leave the house at 7:30am, but drive separately to share child drop-off and pick-up duties. Kara must finish work early each day to collect the kids by 5pm.


Kara does all their weekly shopping on Saturdays in Cessnock. She sometimes drives to Maitland if she needs to pick up something special.


Once the shopping is out of the way on weekends, this young family like to take the kids to the park and explore around the neighbourhood. Kara likes the parks in Cessnock, but would like to see more shaded areas. They would both like jobs closer to where they live to be able to spend more time with their kids.


Vicki, from Bellbird

Vicki lives with her son in Bellbird, and they both work for an engineering company at Cameron Park on the north-western edge of Lake Macquarie.


Transport is an important issue for her. She would love to see better rail connections through the metro area as it would make it easier for her to visit her mother on the Central Coast.


Vicki said if she could afford to she would live near the beaches in Newcastle.


Vicki prefers her local neighbourhood centre in Bellbird, where she does most of her grocery shopping. She tends to travel to Maitland rather than Cessnock for bigger shops and for specialty shopping.


Vicki doesn’t have a problem with greenfield developments, but she thinks the infrastructure provided could be better. She specifically mentioned the need for kerb and gutter improvements. She would also like new developments to be more heavily regulated.


Sean, from Newcastle

Sean works as an emergency medical officer at John Hunter Hospital. He and his partner live in Wickham.


His partner is originally from Cessnock, and she visits there once a month. This helps her keep a connection with the Cessnock community. Also, some services are cheaper in Cessnock including getting a haircut. Sean also enjoys visiting Cessnock and usually stops there on the way to the vineyards.


Sean thinks new infrastructure needs to be better planned in new (greenfield) estates. He feels housing is growing quickly in fringe and rural areas, but doesn’t think infrastructure is keeping pace with growth.


Sean’s three favourite things about Greater Newcastle all stem from its natural environment, including its National Parks, its proximity to the Hunter Valley and its coastline. He feels we should limit urban sprawl by building more medium density housing closer to existing infrastructure and transport connections.

We recently hosted a stall at Stockland’s Glendale shopping centre on Thursday, 27 July to get feedback from the Lake Macquarie community on metropolitan planning in Greater Newcastle. Glendale Stockland is a major shopping centre in the Lake Macquarie Local Government Area offering a range of retail and entertainment outlets. 

We mapped 15 stories, each providing the Department with insights into people’s priorities for public transport, housing and jobs in the Greater Newcastle area. Many people felt Lake Macquarie is well-connected by car to other parts of Greater Newcastle, but would like to see more frequent and direct bus services between centres.  Several people were supportive of more medium density housing in their area, and initiatives that would encourage more jobs close to where they live. 


greater newcastle glendale shopping 640x480A local family drawing their lifestyle on the map at Glendale Shopping Centre

Jess, from Lambton

Jess is a nurse at Lingard Private Hospital. She drives to work, and everywhere else, but would use public transport if it were more convenient. 

Jess loves the lifestyle on offer in Newcastle. On the weekends she likes to visit the city’s beaches, cafes, and she often attends cultural activities.  She also enjoys the sense of community at local markets, and regularly goes along to the Olive Tree Market and Hunt & Gather Markets in Newcastle.

As a nurse, Jess thinks the health sector in Newcastle is strong, but could still be improved. Many of her friends left Newcastle for Sydney when they graduated, and she feels graduates need more support finding work placements in Greater Newcastle. She thinks there could be an even stronger connection between John Hunter Hospital, research institutions, the University and local work places that would encourage more growth in this sector.

Kelly, from  Glendale 

Kelly and her children live in Glendale, and transport is an important issue for them. She relies a lot on her car to get herself to work in Stockton, her son to work in Charlestown, and her children to see their father at Lemon Tree Passage. Public transport options to these areas aren’t convenient or cost-effective to meet her family’s needs.

Despite this, Kelly loves the outdoor lifestyle that the metro area offers her and her family. They enjoy going to the beach, kayaking and bush walks. If she could live anywhere, she would choose to live near the beach. Her daughter wants to go to university in Sydney, but her son is happy to stay in Newcastle. 

In future, Kelly would like to see more done to encourage sustainable housing design and sustainable buildings in Newcastle. She wants improvements to the public transport network as well as opportunities to create more jobs closer to where people live. 

Andrew, from Hillsborough 

Andrew lives in Hillsborough, but is originally from Muswellbrook where he worked in mining. After being retrenched, he decided to retrain as a teacher and retrained through the University of Newcastle.

Andrew and his wife Meryl have three adult children. Two still live in the Greater Newcastle area, working in childcare and retail services. He thinks the service sector is still strong in Newcastle. He spoke a lot about the future of employment in Greater Newcastle, and the broader Hunter Region, recognising the need to create more jobs that keep people here, and attract more people into the area. 

Andrew believes the coal industry will continue to decline, but isn’t convinced green industries are enough to replace that industry. He strongly supports greater diversification at the Port of Newcastle, particularly to encourage more agricultural exports. He also thinks tourism is an emerging market in the metro area with a lot of growth potential.

In future, Andrew thinks more should be done to encourage medium density housing, especially around the City’s main centres.  

As part of our series of community outreach sessions for Greater Newcastle metropolitan planning, we hosted a stall at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace. The session was held during Thursday night shopping.  The  MarketPlace is popular shopping centre  used by people who live and work in the broader Port Stephens Local Government Area. Many people we spoke with lived in Raymond Terrace, with others coming from more rural parts of Port Stephens including Seaham, Medowie, Glen Oak, and Tomago. 

The fifteen stories shared with us revealed public transport connectivity as a major priority. Many liked their larger property lots and the rural lifestyle available in the area, but would like to have more frequent and convenient public transport services to Newcastle, Williamtown Airport and the industrial areas at Tomago. Several people identified the RAAF Base at Williamtown as a major economic driver for Port Stephens Local Government Area.  Another popular discussion topic was the need for more outdoor spaces and activities, particularly for younger people. 


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Locals drawing out their life at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace

Mary, from Raymond Terrace 

Mary lives in Raymond Terrace with her husband and two children. Her family make the most of living in Greater Newcastle, and have strong connections with several areas. Her husband works in Newcastle, and they regularly visit the City’s beaches. Her kids also participate in Scouts, and enjoy visiting Glenrock for activities such as hiking and camping. They are also regular visitors to the drive-in at Heddon-Greta.

Mary recognises the RAAF base at Williamtown as an important asset for the community, and not just because she met her husband while working there. She feels the RAAF base is part of Raymond Terrace’s local identity, and is a major provider of jobs for the metro area. 

In future, Mary would like to see better quality outdoor spaces and activities for children and adults in Raymond Terrace. Her ideas include having outdoor gym area equipment around the Raymond Terrace lake walk.

Kylie, from Glen Oak 

Kylie lives in Glen Oak. She relies on her car to drive to work at Salt Ash because there are no public transport options available. She does most of her shopping at Raymond Terrace because it is more convenient, but chooses to go to Charlestown or Kotara for entertainment and for other specialty services.  

Occasionally, Kylie travels to Maitland via “the back way” for tourist events, good food and entertainment. She also likes to visit Nelson Bay as a tourist, and feels that Nelson Bay is part of the Greater Newcastle area. She thinks Nelson Bay will struggle to be successful if it is left out of metro-level planning, given the effects of the off-season tourism economy and growing demands for more housing.

Kylie thinks the RAAF base and the Airport are very important for the area, particularly for jobs. She uses Newcastle Airport often to travel to Queensland, Melbourne and Adelaide. She is excited about it becoming an international airport, and would like to see this come with more convenient transport connections to the entire region so everyone can benefit. 

In future, Kylie would like to see more affordable housing options available, and more education opportunities on offer in the metro area. 

James, from Seaham

James works in telecommunications. His work is based in Rutherford, but each day he travels around Greater Newcastle to service clients in these areas. He feels the limited transport options in the region would be improved by upgrading some of the bridges and connections between Newcastle and Raymond Terrace.

James lived in Central West NSW before moving to Greater Newcastle. He said he understands the challenges in balancing demands for growth whilst retaining the local identity and rural landscape that attracts people to the area in the first place.

Having previously worked with NSW Farmers, James is passionate about agriculture and land use. He wants greater protection for land in rural areas, which means discouraging urban development on viable agricultural land. He specifically referred to areas like Seaham and Medowie, where he feels the farming value of the land should be prioritised over demands for more housing. James feels housing growth would be more appropriate around Maitland or Newcastle Airport, where the land is less productive for agriculture, and houses could be adapted to deal with issues like aircraft noise. 

The Department hosted a stall at the popular Newcastle City Farmers Market. The markets attracts over 150 small businesses from in, and around, the Hunter and surrounding area. It is one of the most well-attended markets in NSW, attracting, on average, around 9,000 people every Sunday.


Several people who we spoke view transport as a high priority including cycleways, road safety, public transport convenience and parking in the City Centre. Another popular topic of discussion was the city’s natural environment, including iconic parks and beaches, which people feel really define the local lifestyle.


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Newcastle City Farmers Market in Tighes Hill

Paul And Brad, from Merewether

Paul grew up in London and Brad in small-town NSW. They both moved to Newcastle for different reasons, and neither intended to stay. They’ve now been here for almost 10 years and love the life they have.


They like the balance and diversity of things to do around the area, and that it is still convenient to get around. They have some kind of connection to every ‘place’ listed on the Greater Newcastle area map.


Paul and Brad frequently showcase the Region to visitors from Sydney and overseas. They usually take them to city beaches to do the Anzac Walk, or visit Nelson Bay, Blackbutt, Glenrock, the Vineyards, and Dungog.


Paul works in health, and Brad works in community services. They both see the influence of the built environment on people’s wellbeing through their jobs. They would like to see more investment in infrastructure that supports healthy lifestyles and social equality, including investment in cycleways, green spaces and social housing.


Joan, from Adamstown Heights

Joan has three sons and her family spends a lot of time outdoors. All three of her sons are in the Scouts, and most of their weekends are spent at the Scouts Camp at Glenrock. They also regularly go exploring and camping up near Singleton and around Barrington. 


Joan is supportive of growth in established neighbourhoods, but concerned it isn’t being delivered in a positive way. She feels the design of new housing, particularly new townhouses, ignores common-sense safety and amenity issues. She also feels that ordinary people like her aren’t listened to in the planning approval process.


Joan would most like to see major improvements in road safety, particularly to encourage more people to cycle. She thinks this will only become more important as the city gets busier, and road congestion gets worse. She’d like to see more investment in bike infrastructure, but also feels this must be supported with community education programs for drivers and cyclists.


Rachel, Adam And Flynn, from Islington

Rachel works in finance for a company based in Sydney. She tends to work from home, but gets the train to Sydney from Broadmeadow around once a week or when required. Adam is a cabler and travels long distances (up to 10 hours a day) for work.


Apart from work, this young family really live locally. They shop, eat and play close to where they live. Their son Flynn (4 years old) goes to pre-school at Waratah. They are regular customers at the Newcastle Farmer’s Market.


Rachel and Adam have both lived in Newcastle for over 20 years, mostly in suburbs close to the City Centre. They said the biggest things that have changed in that time are house prices and night life. Rachel said she feels less safe walking at night these days, particularly around Beaumont Street. 


Despite being happy where they live, they are considering a tree change to somewhere like Morpeth, where they can retain a close community or village feel but can afford a bit more yard space to grow more of their own food.

The Department hosted a stall at the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council’s 2017 NAIDOC Family day, at the Murrook Culture Centre in Williamtown.


Around 35 people stopped at our stall to hear more about the Greater Newcastle Metro Plan project. This gave us a chance to map over 20 people’s stories, providing diverse perspectives from people living throughout the Greater Newcastle area. Most of the people who spoke with us spent time in Newcastle City Centre for a variety of reasons, but also had a strong connection to Raymond Terrace and the broader Port Stephens area.


Transport was a popular discussion topic. Several of the stories were from women who travel across the Greater Newcastle area throughout the week for family reasons, including getting children to school and sports, taking elders to health appointments, or generally visiting relatives.


People’s stories also revealed the value they place on locally accessible ‘green’ spaces. Nearly everyone mentioned spending time each week at a beach, park or local fishing spot close to their house. Many felt relatively small upgrades, to improve safety, provide better connections, or offer fitness equipment, would go a long way to improving their health and enjoyment of these spaces.


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Uncle Neville, from Tanilba Bay

Uncle Neville is 76, and a proud Worimi elder. He spends most of his time between the Murrook Culture Centre and his home at Tanilba Bay. He has some health concerns that affect how well, and how often, he gets out and about, but can meet most of his daily needs locally, or at Raymond Terrace.


Neville says he only ever goes to Newcastle is if he needs to go to John Hunter Hospital. He also attends health appointments at a specialist in Sydney. He tends to drive to these appointments because public transport connections are inconvenient.


Making places more liveable for future generations is something Neville strongly supports.


Glen, from Cardiff

Glen lives in Cardiff and spends a lot of his time in and around Lake Macquarie. He does most of his shopping in Cardiff or Charlestown, and regularly visits friends and family in Swansea.


Working between Newcastle and Cessnock, Glen regularly drives along the Hunter Expressway. He said he is often frustrated by delays due to road works.


Glen’s high-school age son relies on public transport to get around. He catches the train from Cardiff to Broadmeadow for school every day.


In future, Glen would like to see better facilities provided in public outdoor areas, and other improvements to neighbourhood amenities. He specifically mentioned fitness parks as a good way of keeping people healthy. He also recognised the facilities at Speers Point as a good quality benchmark for what could be provided in other areas.

Kerrie, from Raymond Terrace

Kerrie is in her 60s and lives at Raymond Terrace. The train network is important to her. She has been a Novacastrian all her life, and remembers using the railway a lot with her parents while she was growing up. She has also been a transport worker on the rail lines for several years now, and feels services have changed a lot since she started working in the industry.


Kerrie still uses the train when she goes to Sydney. She tends to park at Broadmeadow, but, despite the recent upgrades, is finding it increasingly difficult to find a parking space close to the station. She would like to see a big commuter car park provided.


In future, Kerrie would like to see public transport connections to Raymond Terrace improve. She would love to catch a train from her house to work in Maitland or head into Newcastle for arts, entertainment, live music and nights out. Until then, she’ll rely mostly on her car to get around.

The Department spent a busy Friday night in the Departure Lounge at Newcastle Airport speaking to people in transit, including residents on their way to work or play in other parts of Australia, and visitors on their way home. Around 15 people stopped to hear more about the project. We also had a chance to map 7 new stories illustrating how people connect to, and through Greater Newcastle.


These stories highlighted the important role the Airport plays in maintaining social and economic connections throughout Australia. People were excited about the Airport’s plans to offer more destinations, including international services. Everyone agreed that this Global Gateway is an important asset for a growing Metropolitan area.


John, from Canberra

John travels to Newcastle and Sydney (Paramatta) around twice a month as part of his job with the Australian Government. He’ll often visit both in the same trip, flying into one and then catching the train to the other.


When he’s in Newcastle, John usually stays one night either in Hamilton or the City Centre. He relies on taxis to get around while he’s in town.


He has a great impression of the whole Metro area. A group of over 20 of his friends make a fishing trip to Nelson Bay every year on his birthday, and he’s also spent a little time down in Lake Macquarie. The Hunter Valley Vineyards are next on his list of things to do.


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Lisa, Marisa and Marli, from Brisbane

Lisa (mum), Marisa (12), and Marli (10) live in Brisbane, and were returning home after visiting family on the Central Coast. They wish public transport connections to the Airport were more convenient. It currently takes them less time to fly from Brisbane to Newcastle than it does to get the bus from Newcastle Airport to Hamilton Station, and then the train to Wyong.


When they visited last year, they spent a few nights in Newcastle City Centre. They had a great time, but felt they had missed out on a lot of what the City had to offer. Specifically, they would have liked to know more about local walking routes to take in all the City’s sites and stories.


In future, they would like more information to be made more easily available for visitors. This includes a single online source, and more obvious outlets around town that point out important landmarks and recommend self-guided experiences.


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Patricia, from Warners Bay

Patricia is in her 80s and has lived in the area all her life. She was at the Airport with her daughter, Cathy, and son-in-law Garry, who were on their way to visit her granddaughter in Melbourne.


Patricia moved into an assisted living village in Warners Bay around 10 years ago, after living in Merewether Heights for nearly 40 years. Her mobility has declined, which makes travelling difficult, so transport is a major concern. She regularly visits health services in Belmont, Charlestown, Lambton and at John Hunter Hospital, but the current public transport network doesn’t meet her needs. Without easy transport options, she feels housebound, depending on taxis, family, or paid support workers to get out and about.


Patricia, Cathy and Garry all feel the recent changes to public transport have been a step backward for the City. They were particularly disappointed when the rail services all the way into Newcastle station were cut. They also would love to see a train link between the city and airport provided in future.


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On 5 July 2017, the Department hosted a stakeholder workshop at McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle to consider the preliminary findings and insights from the metropolitan-level housing and economic research that is currently underway.


Over 50 stakeholders attended this event with presentations by DPE staff and our consultants.


The workshop was made up of two sessions based around housing and economic development.


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Housing session

The housing session provided an overview of tools available to assist with planning for and prioritising housing growth in new areas.


Feedback from those who attended focused on the importance of coordinating the delivery of infrastructure to facilitate development in a timely and cost-effective way. This included discussions around the future role and function of Hunter Special Infrastructure Contribution Plan, (currently being prepared by the NSW Government) and the challenge of prioritising growth in new and established urban areas.


Economic session

The economic session illustrated Greater Newcastle’s economic strength and diversity including insights from the 2016 Census data, released in June 2017 by the Australia Bureau of Statistics.


Key themes and discussion points raised throughout the workshop included the:

  • boundary of the Greater Newcastle metropolitan area and whether it should align with existing local government and data boundaries including Census boundaries
  • relationships between the different towns and places in Greater Newcastle
  • accuracy of the current population and economic forecasts
  • definition of a ‘Strategic Centre’ being consistent with the Hunter Regional Plan nominated several ‘Strategic Centres’ and established a target of 95% of people living within 30 minutes of these centres.
  • planning for the strategic centres at all levels including residents, businesses and other institutions also plan for their own future.
  • potential for a ‘Strategic Centre’ nomination process to assist with attracting and coordinating investment from public and private sectors.
  • need to identify clear roles and functions for potential new strategic centres
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On 5 July 2017, Professor Greg Clark (pictured right) – Adviser on Global Cities gave a Public Lecture on how metropolitan planning can benefit Greater Newcastle through adopting an integrated approach, tackling short termism and harnessing multiple tiers of government.


The Public Lecture was held at the newly built University of Newcastle NeW Space City Campus. Around 80 people attended this event.


During the lecture, Professor Clark discussed a case study report he wrote with colleague Dr Tim Moonen which reviews the experience of metropolitan planning in seven international metropolitan areas with similar size and features to Greater Newcastle, including:

  1. Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain
  2. Cardiff, Wales, UK
  3. Gothenburg, Sweden
  4. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  5. Malmö, Sweden
  6. Portland, Oregon, USA
  7. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


The seven international case studies highlight different ways through which metropolitan planning has been successful in achieving:

  • better planning and management of land
  • increased investment in infrastructure and urban renewal
  • land use and density changes
  • reduction in long-term structural unemployment
  • increased job growth in internationally traded sectors
  • increased the rate of entrepreneurship
  • improved economic performance relative to the rest of the nation


Drawing on the lessons learnt from these case studies, the report highlights 14 insights that will help inform the Greater Newcastle metropolitan planning process.


Download Greg Clark's Metropolitan strategic planning case studies report (PDF, 2.7MB)

Download the case studies report

The Department recently hosted a stall at the Multicultural Neighbourhood Centre’s Hunter Multicultural Services Expo.


During the expo, we heard from a range of community members from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds living in Greater Newcastle. We also had a chance to speak with staff and volunteers working on the front-line supporting; migrants, refugees and the homeless.



greater newcastle multicultural staff with the event goer 865x373Lord Mayor of Newcastle City Council, Nuatali Nelmes talking to the Department staff


Around 50 people visited our stall to find out more about the project, and over 20 took the time to tell us their story about a typical day in Greater Newcastle. We received many fascinating stories from community members with a wide range of age groups and diverse backgrounds.


The stories we heard emphasised the importance of metropolitan-level planning for Greater Newcastle. We discovered community members regularly visit, and have close personal attachments to different, places across the metropolitan area be it through work or school or to socialise with family and friends. Parks and beaches are also very important to the community as places to regularly visit.


Here are a few stories we heard on the day.


Juanita from Lake Macquarie

Juanita is originally from Samoa. She has a large family, and they live in Lake Macquarie.


She works in Hamilton and her husband in Wallsend. They decided to live on the Lake because it is a central location, it is near her youngest children’s school and her eldest children’s university and jobs. During our conversation with Juanita, she mentioned that the location is poorly connected to public transport and because of this living on the Lake is becoming inconvenient for her family.



Juanita starts her day around 4 am, her typical morning involves dropping off her eldest daughter at Morisset station so she can catch the train to Sydney for work. She then drops her two youngest children at school in Fassifern.


Juanita also drives her two other daughters to Hamilton Station where one takes the train to the University and the other to Maitland for work. She mentioned that if they missed their trains, she would then have to drive to Callaghan and Maitland because the wait for the next train is between 30min to an hour.


In their downtime, Juanita and her family enjoy spending time on the Lake, and tend to do their shopping at either Glendale or Charlestown. They don’t often go into Newcastle City Centre.


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Juanita's typical day in Greater Newcastle

Dongmei from Wallsend

Dongmei is originally from China, and has been living in Australia for 11 years. She is a mother of two, and her children go to school in Elermore Vale and Lambton.


Dongmei starts her morning by dropping her children at their schools. Then she drives to work, which is usually in Hamilton, but she sometimes has to travel to Charlestown and Maitland.


After work, she drives her children to after-school activities, including swimming classes at the University Newcastle Forum in Callaghan, and dancing classes at Adamstown. She jokingly said her afternoons are hectic because of all the driving and school pick up traffic. Once a week she picks her children and their friends up from OOSH (Out of School Hours), and taxis them all home around Elermore Vale and Wallsend area.


Weekends are a bit more relaxed. Dongmei likes to do most of her shopping at the Newcastle Farmer’s Markets on Sundays. In the summer, she drives her children to Nobby’s Surf Life Saving, and afterwards they hang around at Honeysuckle.

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Dongmei's typical day in Greater Newcastle


Chunping 'Cecilia' from Warabrook

Chunping is originally from China, and now she lives in Warabrook. She visits a lot of different places through the week. She drives to TAFE in the City, where she attends classes a few times a week. She also attends English lessons at the Multicultural Neighbourhood Centre in Lambton. Once a week she does her regular shopping at Glendale.


When she has visitors over, Chunping likes to take them to Maitland for lunch or coffee. They usually drive there, but sometimes take the train.


Chunping also has good friends who live in Taree. She visits them occasionally, and it tends to take her around an hour and half to drive there.

On 27 and 28 April, the Department hosted a workshop with key stakeholders to look at ways metropolitan planning could help Greater Newcastle meet the challenges and take advantage of future opportunities. The feedback gathered from the workshop will be used to shape the vision statement that will be included in the draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan.


Key topics discussed at the workshop included:

Reputation and Identity

Establishing a unifying story for Greater Newcastle that recognises diverse local characteristics of the region. This may include using the close ties to Sydney, but remaining self-reliant and resilient.


Global Gateways and Centres of Excellence

Capitalising on Global Gateways (including the Port and Airport) and creating new opportunities for:

  • the Port and the Airport
  • Health
  • Education
  • Defence
  • Manufacturing
  • Culture
  • Tourism
  • Events


Housing growth and affordability

Planning for new types of housing, based on communities’ rapidly changing expectations and lifestyles. Delivering infrastructure and services in new ways, to reduce development costs and accelerate supply.


Networks and Connectivity

Exploring how changes in technology will influence how we move around the Metropolitan area. Setting the scene for an integrated public transport network across the Metropolitan area.


Coordination and Leadership

Understanding roles and relationships between State and Local governments, and between the public and private sectors. Establishing common methods and frameworks for decision-making.


Participants also shared with us their organisation’s long-term plans and strategies. This emphasised the exciting opportunities that are already underway across the Metropolitan area, and the momentum that will continue to underpin the success of Greater Newcastle.

greater newcastle challenges and opportunities workshop 834x462

The Metropolitan Planning for Greater Newcastle was launched at Fort Scratchley Newcastle on 28 February 2017. The event focused on what metropolitan planning is and how it might benefit Greater Newcastle and included members of the community, councils, business leaders and government agencies.


Professor Greg Clark, an international expert in metropolitan planning identified global examples of metropolitan planning and how it has assisted small-medium sized cities reach their economic potential. He also spoke about the importance of coordinated planning and how anchor institutions like universities, airports and teaching hospitals can make a strategic contribution to the economy.


The Department’s Chief Planner, Gary White, spoke about global trends and the implications of these on Greater Newcastle. He also expanded on opportunities in small business, tourism, freight and logistics.


Wide ranging discussions were held with stakeholders on the future opportunities and challenges for Greater Newcastle, including Williamtown RAAF Base, the University of Newcastle and Hunter TAFE, Smart Cities work, the NeW Space Innovation Hub, information technology, skills attraction and Newcastle Airport.


greater newcastle metropolitan planning project launch on 28 02 2017

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