All Around the Hunter Region
A lot is going on around the hunter at the moment. As we awaken from our covid-coma and restrictions and borders are lifted we’re looking forward to 2021 and all the ‘reversals’ that will hopefully come along with the strike of midnight. Here’s what's been going on in your neighbourhood.
KNIGHTS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE
The Newcastle Knights’ $20 million Centre of Excellence at District Park, Broadmeadow is a step closer following the appointment of construction company Richard Crookes Constructions to build the high performance, training, administration and multi-purpose community facility.
The appointment came just one month after Hunter-based civil construction services firm Daracon Group commenced work on the three new playing fields at the site.
Member of the Legislative Council Taylor Martin said the project would create 80 jobs and provide a significant boost to the Hunter construction industry as it recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Newcastle Knights are part of the fabric of the Hunter. The club represents the people, and the people represent the club, creating a connection that is unique in Australian sport,” Mr Martin said.
“The Knights’ Centre of Excellence will further strengthen this connection by enabling the club to expand its community programs, initiatives and engagement.”
Acting Minister for Sport, Geoff Lee said the Knights’ Centre of Excellence would be the envy of sporting administrations around the country.
“The Centres of Excellence Program provides integrated world-class high-performance training, administration and community facilities for the identification, development and fostering of rugby league talent,” he said.
“Once completed, the Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence will be the leading rugby league facility in regional NSW and ensure the Knights continue to challenge for premierships in the years to come.”
Newcastle Knights & Wests Group Australia CEO Philip Gardner said the Knights were on track to move into their new home ahead of the 2022 pre-season in 12 months.
FIVE YEAR CLIMATE PLAN FOR CITY
City of Newcastle intends to transition to a fleet of electric vehicles, build operational resilience through additional renewables and battery storage, and switch all city lighting to LED over the next five years under a new Climate Action Plan.
The Plan covers both City of Newcastle operations and Newcastle as a whole to accelerate emission reduction across the City through a suite of practical and prudent action and initiatives. Working collaboratively with other progressive organisations, the Plan takes advantage of the economic opportunities that arise from a clean energy and low-emissions industry landscape.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the Climate Action Plan would build upon the achievements of recent years that has led to Newcastle being recognised as one of Australia’s leading Cities in sustainability.
“City of Newcastle has formally committed to the Paris Climate Agreement, and we accept there is a global climate emergency. We owe it to our children to prioritise concrete action on climate change. As Novocastrians, we have seen firsthand the impacts of climate change, be it the erosion of Stockton Beach or increasingly severe storms that beached the Pasha Bulka,” Cr Nelmes said.
“We’re proud to be one of the most progressive cities in the country when it comes to tackling climate change and are confident this new Plan will keep us moving down this path of sustainability. It’s important that as a city leader, we respond to the increasing calls from our community to tackle what is this generations most important challenges.”
WATERFRONT SPACE FOR COMMUNITY ENJOYMENT
Another quality public space on the waterfront will soon be a reality in the ever-evolving Honeysuckle Precinct, with the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) commencing construction on the next two hectares of public domain. The new Honeysuckle Park forms part of HCCDC’s $55-million spend on infrastructure, and public domain works in the precinct.
HCCDC Acting Chief Executive Valentina Misevska said Honeysuckle Park is the first of two hectares of new public domain that HCCDC will deliver across the precinct over coming years. The 4750m2 site at Worth Place will provide open green space for the community to enjoy, with specially created elements reflecting what the community said it wanted to see.
“Themes from this engagement have been captured into the design of Honeysuckle Park, such as the sandstone blocks that step down into the water, the shade structures and open lawn areas for picnics,” said Ms Misevska.
“Honeysuckle Park will also celebrate the area’s rich maritime history through the design of a nautical-themed playground and shade sails.”
The new public domain will also feature native trees and plants and a wide promenade that will eventually connect all of Honeysuckle through to the Bathers Way. Construction is now underway and is expected to be complete by mid-2021.
SUMMER STREET ART SIZZLES AT NELSON BAY
Nelson Bay’s streets will soon be brighter and more people-friendly with the installation of parklets, street art and activities for locals and visitors to enjoy. The temporary improvements are part of a $700,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Streets as Shared Spaces program.
Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer says it’s all designed to help support the community during COVID-19 and restart Port Stephens.
“These temporary improvements are all about making our streets more vibrant and attractive for locals and visitors alike,” Mayor Palmer said.
“Parklets are ‘pop up’ spaces that create more room for people on our streets. They’re designed to be used for all sorts of activities including gatherings, café space, performances, restaurant dining, displaying art and more.
“We’re currently constructing the parklets, which will be decorated by a local artist before they’re installed in mid-December. We’re planning plenty of fun activities and activations to make sure there’s always something to enjoy at our new parklets.
Mayor Palmer says the ideas are based on improvements identified in the Nelson Bay Town Centre Strategy.
“As part of the Nelson Bay Public Domain Plan, we identified opportunities to make our streets more people-friendly, and this is one way we can trial these improvements and see if people like them.
“Next year, we’re also planning to create more public seating at the Stockton Street stage to create a more vibrant town centre.”