Property New South Wales

Hunter Region Update March

NSW March 4, 2020

This month is keeping us busy at the Property Council in the Hunter with a number of policy matters we are working with local and state government on. Draft Local Housing Strategies and Local Strategic Planning Statements are open for comment across various Hunter Councils and I have enjoyed working with our committees in providing feedback to these. We are also working with our Sydney Property Council partners on building reform and infrastructure and look forward to keeping you up to-date on the progress we are making across these platforms.

E-planning was just one initiative outlined as a key priority when government announced its commitment to planning reform prior to Christmas. This is aimed at delivering a faster, more transparent NSW planning system and is certainly something industry would welcome. This will be implemented across a number of councils including Central Coast, Cessnock, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie councils with an industry reference group to be established to allow stakeholders to provide feedback on the roll-out of mandatory ePlanning.

While advocacy is only one focus of the work we do regionally at the Property Council, it is certainly a critical piece and we welcome your feedback on the policy priorities that are important to you and the work you are doing across our regions.

I look forward to sharing more news with you in my weekly emails and next month’s newsletter.



Astra aerolab brings innovation to newcastle

It’s remarkable to see the evolution of the Hunter region as we welcome in a new decade. We’ve broadened our industrial roots and cemented ourselves as one of NSW’s fastest growing areas with an impressive long-term economic outlook.

The region’s next wave of economic development will come from being outwardly focused, globally engaged, well connected and most importantly, competitive.

Key to our region’s past success has been our unique ability to drive opportunities and adapt as required. As we evolve and develop a more sophisticated economy, the need to diversify our offering will grow. In that context, as a region we need to continue to challenge ourselves and continuously evolve, to position ourselves for greatest advantage.  

The Hunter is already pushing the boundaries, with the first-ever Metropolitan Plan for Greater Newcastle – the only non-capital city to have one – outlining plans to capitalise on investment and drive sustainable growth. We’re excited to see Williamtown earmarked under this plan as a catalyst area, set to create an additional 3000 jobs by 2036. The area has also been identified by the NSW Government as a potential Special Activation Precinct (SAP) – one of only three in NSW. SAPs are designed to accelerate investment and growth through high value regional hubs. It’s our view that the state government’s Williamtown job target will be significantly exceeded under these conditions.

To drive Williamtown’s growth trajectory, in partnership with the NSW Government, Newcastle Airport has commenced development of a new, globally significant defence and aerospace precinct. Adjacent to the airport, Astra Aerolab brings innovation to our doorstep. With more than 100,000 tonnes of earth already brought in, the first 4.5ha of land has already been snapped up by a defence prime and the remainder of Stage 1 is now being actively marketed with strong interest. Through the use of local contractors in design and construction, the jobs tally has already started to climb.

True to our purpose of striving to be the airport the region deserves we’re proud to be playing a role in the rapid diversification of our regional output, readying it for the economic challenges that lie ahead.  


Hunter Water calls for conservation as water restrictions ease

Hunter Water is encouraging the Lower Hunter community to keep up its efforts to save water, with Level 1 water restrictions returning.

It comes in response to recent rain, which has helped boost the region’s dams. Storage levels have risen by more than 10 per cent to a total of 63.8%.

Hunter Water recognises the importance of water to the operation of many businesses across the Lower Hunter region. It’s keen to support all businesses through this period of water restrictions and ensure they are as efficient and sustainable as possible, while maintaining continuity of their operations.

A range of water saving resources have been developed for businesses to help manage their water use, or they can apply for an exemption from water restrictions by visiting


Property Council welcomes ELK Designs

ELK Designs are a full-service Architecture, Interiors and Urban Design practice based in beautiful Newcastle.

15 years ago, starting from humble beginnings, ELK Designs has grown from a sole practitioner in a home office to a professional studio with an 18 strong team of Architects, Interior Designers, Technical Staff and Draftspeople.

The team is a vibrant, energetic and diverse multi-disciplined group of designers and architects specialising in wholistic design solutions that achieve a sophisticated balance between form and function.

There is a dedication to achieving outcomes that satisfy both function and aesthetic as they strive to create amazing spaces that enrich and inspire the lives of the people who inhabit them.

They walk the talk in relation to the quality assurance process, striving to achieve the highest standards of design and documentation as attention to detail and relaxed sophistication is synonymous with ELK’s design philosophy.

With experience across various typologies including bespoke residential, multi residential, residential flat buildings and high rise, commercial developments and fit outs, Aged Care and Seniors Living, industrial developments, mixed use, master planning, alterations and additions.

The team are able to provide services tailored to individual projects including all aspects of architectural design, interior design, master planning and contract administration and would welcome your contact.