The NSW government has released a 20-year plan for Greater Newcastle that it says will see it become a dynamic city with a globally competitive economy and a great lifestyle.

Announcing the Draft Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan, parliamentary secretary for planning and the Hunter, Scot MacDonald says, “This first ever Draft Metropolitan Plan for Greater Newcastle capitalises on this momentum to drive the transformation of the city through a collaborative approach between the NSW Government and the five local councils of Greater Newcastle.”

Developed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE), with engagement from the councils and stakeholders of Newcastle, the draft plan sets out four key goals with detailed strategies of how to achieve them.

NSW chief planner Gary White says the Newcastle plan means that by 2036, the city can expect to have a “growing entrepreneurial economy, a rich natural environment, a wide variety of housing and jobs to choose from, and thriving communities.”

“Greater Newcastle is expected to grow to 700,000 people in 2036, with potential to grow further over the longer term, making it an important metropolitan city.”

“That projected growth reflects Greater Newcastle’s strengths and its enormous potential. However, until today it was the only Australian city of this size without a metropolitan plan. This is an exciting and significant step,” he says.

In order to back up the draft metro plan, the DPE has also announced there will be a new draft Hunter Region Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) to ensure new homes constructed in Newcastle and the broader Hunter Region are supported by essential infrastructure such as roads, schools, and health and emergency services.

“A SIC is a contribution from developers to help deliver infrastructure needed for growing communities and the commitment to a SIC is a significant sign of the government’s commitment to the future of Greater Newcastle,” says MacDonald.