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NSW Department of Planning and Environment
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The Hunter is the leading regional economy in Australia, with thriving communities and a biodiversity-rich natural environment. It is home to more than 760,000 people and is still growing.


Our vision acknowledges the opportunities provided by natural resources and strong communities and sets the following regionally focused goals:


  • A strong and dynamic regional economy
  • A healthy environment with pristine waterways
  • Strong infrastructure and transport networks for a connected future
  • Attractive and thriving communities


Download the Hunter Regional Plan 2036


The 2036 plan is currently under review with a draft plan on exhibition in November 2021. To receive updates, register your details.



The leading regional economy in Australia with a vibrant new metropolitan at its heart.
People sitting on benches at cafe overlooking a beach in Newcastle

Goal 1 – The leading regional economy in Australia

The Hunter is the largest regional economy in Australia, ranking above TAS, the NT and the ACT in terms of economic output.
Farm buildings surrounded by farmland in Goucester

Goal 2 – A biodiversity–rich natural environment

The Hunter’s diverse natural environment includes some of the most unique ecological systems in Australia. Within the region there are three terrestrial bioregions – the Sydney Basin, North Coast and Brigalow Belt South, and the Hawkesbury and Manning Shelf marine bioregions.
People sitting in small boat on waterway in Forster

Goal 3 – Thriving communities

The Hunter is home to some of the most diverse communities in NSW and their distinctive character is a significant competitive advantage for the region.
Man standing and looking at wine barrels in shed in Pokolbin

Goal 4 – Greater housing choice and jobs

An additional 70,000 dwellings will be needed in the region by 2036. Providing the land and the infrastructure to meet this demand is central to the Plan.
People walking towards apartment buildings in Newcastle

Local government narratives

The NSW Government will work with each council to deliver the directions and actions set out in this plan.
Cars and cyclist crossing bridge in Forster

Glossary and end notes

A list of definitions and the reference source for this regional plan.
People walking and cycling on walkway by lake