A new NSW Government plan to shape the Hunter’s future over the next 20 years is being welcomed by local community and industry.
The Draft Hunter Regional Plan 2041 is promising to push the region towards healthier, cleaner, and greener living for locals.
Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes says it’s great to see this sort of interest and investment from the Government.
“We’re pleased that they’re keeping to the program of reviewing this plan every five years, because that’s what needs to happen,” Mr Hawes said.
“There’s a lot that’s changed in the region in the last five years, since that plan was first drafted in 2015 and 2016.”
“We’re keen to make sure that it’s picking up on the ambitions and the trends that we’re seeing in this region about diversification.”
The latest plan has added targets for net zero emissions and aims to establish “fifteen-minute regions” across the entire Hunter, where services are accessible to community members in a fifteen minute walk or drive.
Mr Hawes says it’ll be interesting to see how the ideas are implemented.
“Down towards the coast, where the urban form is far more dense, and services are already closer together it’s going to be a lot easier to achieve,” Mr Hawes said.
“But we’d we questioning the relevance when we get to the other areas, where we get vast, spread out areas of industrial development and so on and so forth, and relatively longer distances in communities.”
It’s hoped consultation with locals and residents will continue as the plan moves forward and 2041 comes closer.
“There’s quite a few areas where this appears to be broaching across into areas that go beyond planning and really go to the heart of what community’s going to look like and how they should form in years to come,” Mr Hawes said.
“Things like bringing in the net zero and other implications that have considerable ramifications to what our communities look like.”
The Draft Hunter Regional Plan 2041 is on Public Exhibition until March 4.
You can find out more about how to have your say at https://dpie.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/hunter-2041.