08:30

Registration and Welcome Coffee

09:00

Chairperson’s opening address

Speakers
Bob Hawes,
CEO
Hunter Business Chamber
OVERVIEW AND VISION

09:10

Keynote: Future initiatives and directions for the region’s sustainable growth

  • Diversifying from the resource sector – what other opportunities are there?
  • Creating smarter value and delivering environmental, social, and economic benefits with smart city initiatives
  • Positioning the region to thrive – futureproofing infrastructure for current and future innovation 
  • Understanding the government’s commitment to productive, liveable and sustainable industries
Speakers
Scot MacDonald MLC,
Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, the Central Coast and the Hunter
NSW Government

09:40

Keynote: Boosting economic activity in the region

  • Delivering the policy settings and regulatory environment necessary to drive economic growth
  • Building on existing strengths to drive future growth and employment
  • Collaboration between government, industry, community and business to maximise opportunities
Speakers
Kate Washington MP,
Shadow Minister for the Hunter
NSW Government
ALIGNING DESIGN AND PLANNING FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT

10:10

Delivering the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan

  • Key aspects of the plan and how it maximises the region’s competitive advantages
  • Focusing on investment and innovation to unlock potential in growth industries and increase economic diversification
  • Building and improving infrastructure to enhance productivity, boost connectivity and support economic growth 
  • Establishing proper governance structures to undertake coordinated planning and attract long term investment
Speakers
Gary White,
Chief Planner
NSW Department of Planning and Environment

10:40

Morning Tea 

11:00

Shaping growth of Hunter strategic centres with accelerated development

  • Encouraging growth in strategic centres and urban renewal corridors to boost economic growth and employment accessibility
  • Planning for greater land use compatibility for future development
  • Developing transport, open space, urban form and liveable neighbourhoods to support economic and population growth
Speakers
Geoffrey Rock,
Hunter Chapter Chair
Urban Development Institute of Australia - NSW
LOCAL HOT SPOTS

11:40

Local council panel: Developing liveable and smart cities

  • Role of local government in strengthening, developing and transforming the region
  • How the Smart Cities deal can fuel smart city initiatives in local suburbs
  • Delivering smart infrastructure to enhance capacity and ensure sustainability for long-term growth – the value of smart infrastructure and benefits of incorporating it
  • Evaluating opportunities for diversification, jobs growth, housing, urban development and economic growth at a local level
Speakers
Tony Farrell,
Director City Strategy
Lake Macquarie City Council
Bob Pynsent,
Mayor
Cessnock City Council
Ian Reynolds,
Administrator
Central Coast Council
Fiona Plesman,
Acting Director – Planning, Community & Corporate Services
Muswellbrook Shire Council

12:30

Networking Lunch

13:30

Driving a Central Coast boom and developing a liveable city

  • Promoting and supporting regional development by revitalising Central Coast’s leading capital 
  • Accommodating for future population growth with healthy development
  • Leveraging Gosford’s strategic transport access, communication services, natural amenities and skilled workforce
  • Key development priorities and how it opens up opportunities for the Central Coast
Speakers
Matthew Prendergast,
Manager of Strategic Planning
Central Coast Council

14:00

Newcastle Smart City Initiative

  • Role of the Hunter Innovation Project in propelling the region to become Australia’s largest digital innovation hubs
  • How the region can capitalise on existing education and research sectors, workforce and diverse industries
  • Opportunities in attracting and retaining high-tech, digital and creative industries and improving accessibility and liveability 
  • Examining collaboration opportunities between academia, business and industry
Speakers
Nathaniel Bavinton,
Smart City Coordinator
Newcastle City Council

14:30

Afternoon Tea 

15:00

Panel: Creating an integrated transportation network to manage a growing region

  • Vision to support urban growth 
    • Transport shaping land use outcomes 
    • Value creation through interconnected networks 
  • Integrated transport strategies to improve connections
    • Hunter Regional Transport Plan 
    • $142 Million Newcastle Light Rail
    • Lower Hunter Freight Corridor
  • Interconnected rail network to ease load and accommodate future freight rail demand and improve regional and interstate links
Speakers
Anna Zycki,
Regional Manager & Coordinator General, Transport for Newcastle
Transport for NSW
Jenny Davis,
Executive Director
Infrastructure NSW
Campbell Mason,
CEO
Keolis Downer Hunter
Glenn Thornton,
Director, Infrastructure Advisory (ANZ) and Regional Director, NSW
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
James Rosenwax,
Market Sector Director, Cities
AECOM
DRIVING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES 

15:50

Panel: Local Aboriginal Land Councils as significant contributors to the region’s economy

  • Towards a strategic approach to future management of LALC land - economic potential of aboriginal landholdings 
  • Providing economic and employment opportunities for indigenous communities in the region 
  • Achieving environmental sustainability and sustainable regional development 
Speakers
Sean Gordon,
CEO
Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council
Michael Green,
CEO
Bahtabah Aboriginal Land Council
Prof. Anne Pattel-Gray,
CEO
Biraban Local Aboriginal Land Council

16:40

Chairperson’s Closing Address and Networking Drinks 

08:30

Registration and Welcome Coffee

09:00

Chairperson’s opening address

STRENGTHENING THE REGIONAL ECONOMY 

09:10

Strengthening regional growth and boosting economic activity  

  • Identifying high potential sectors and accelerating growth industries 
  • Promoting and supporting regional development with effective partnerships
  • Strategies to encourage cross-industry collaboration and improving the outcomes of partnerships
Speakers
Karen Borg,
CEO
Jobs for NSW
ENHANCING ASIA-PACIFIC CONNECTIONS AND EXPANDING GLOBAL GATEWAY CAPACITY

09:40

Port of Newcastle Port Development Plan 

  • The pivotal role of Port of Newcastle in the regional economy to meet future growth
  • Responding to changes in global demand and national economic policy – diversifying operations to enhance connectivity to Asia-Pacific 
  • Assessing the need for improved connectivity - long term planning and management required
  • Developing strategies and precinct plans to support growth, diversification and sustainability
Speakers
Geoff Crowe,
CEO
Port of Newcastle

10:20

Morning Tea

10:40

Newcastle airport as the region’s competitive driver and gateway to growth 

  • Unlocking tourism potential and increasing international export capability 
  • Role of improved freight movements in boosting trade and driving economic development 
  • Improving connectivity and accessibility of labour force and global markets to increase competitiveness
Speakers
Peter Cock,
CEO
Newcastle Airport
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT 

11:20

Panel: Boosting real estate development in the region

  • Best practice guidelines for planning, designing and developing healthy and sustainable built environments
  • Analysing the Hunter’s potential for commercial, industrial and residential development 
  • Opportunities for high-density development to deliver residential, recreational and tourism outcomes
  • What impediments are holding up housing release in the Hunter and how can these be overcome?
Speakers
Bryan Garland,
Planning Director
Johnson Property Group
Andrew Fletcher,
Hunter Director
Property Council of Australia
Michael Cassel,
CEO
Hunter Development Corporation

12:10

Networking Lunch

13:10

Balancing housing demand and urban renewal opportunities

  • How population growth and changing housing needs impact housing supply in the region
  • Providing housing choices in existing and new communities to boost proximity to jobs and services
  • Exploring redevelopment opportunities and managing residential growth and environmental values
  • Reducing pricing pressure through infill and greenfield development
Speakers
Andrew Fletcher,
Hunter Director
Property Council of Australia
PRIORITISING EDUCATION AND TOURISM TO MEET DEMAND

13:40

Creating a world-class education hub and attracting international involvement

  • Understanding University of Newcastle’s expansion on railway corridor land and what this means for economic activity
  • Creating a world-class education hub to boost liveability and increase international involvement
  • Forging deeper international relationships – increasing collaboration in research and education with overseas counterparts
Speakers
Professor Caroline McMillen,
Vice-Chancellor
University of Newcastle

14:10

Afternoon Tea

14:30

Panel: Developing and promoting the Hunter Valley wine tourism sector

  • The Hunter Valley’s history as Australia's oldest and best known wine region 
  • Understanding the value of wine tourism in driving economic growth 
  • Improving attractiveness and promoting wine tourism destinations and experiences
Speakers
Jo Thomas,
General Manager
Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association
Geoff Krieger,
General Manager
Brokenwood Wines
James Agnew,
General Manager
Agnew Wines
ADVANCES IN COAL MINING

15:20

Projecting future outlook of the region’s mining industry

  • Key considerations around the region’s mining industry and how it boosts jobs and economic productivity
  • Moving beyond the mining boom – how can businesses recover and where do future opportunities lie
Speakers
Stephen Galilee,
CEO
NSW Minerals Council

15:50

Chairperson’s Closing Address and End of Conference

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