Collaboration with our member councils, and across levels of government hasn’t slowed as we come to the end of the year! With COVID restrictions easing, and increased capacity within the Regional Policy and Program Team, we have recently convened the following regional networks, which moving forward will continue to meet on a quarterly basis:
- Regional Directors (Planning) Forum – bringing together Council Planning and Environment Directors and key agency staff from across the region, this group will provide a . key collaborative mechanism through which to facilitate Council input to regional planning processes including the review of the Hunter Regional Plan in 2021
- Regional Economic Development Forum – engaging Economic Development Officers from our ten member councils with other key regional stakeholders, this forum will seek to capture regional expertise and knowledge to design and deliver economic development initiatives in areas of shared regional interest.
- Smart Region Network – established at our recently convened Smart Region workshop, this network of council officers will focus on shared “Smart Region” interests, collaborate on learnings, opportunities and barriers across the member councils, and develop a shared understanding of Smart Region, and what it means in the context of the Hunter region.
As the year comes to a close we’ve also enjoyed participation in the following regional networks convened by our State Agency partners in which we’ve recently become involved:
- Transition Hunter Central Coast Working Group – convened by Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment, this new working group will identify and capture collaborative opportunities to build adaptive capacity and regional resilience to climate change
- Hunter and Central Coast Recovery and Resilience Subcommittee – jointly convened by Resilience NSW and Regional NSW this new Subcommittee will drive whole of government actions to build more connected and resilient communities in the region and regional recovery activities.
- Urban Development Program Committee – convened by DPIE, this Committee seeks to inform strategic planning and guide infrastructure planning and service delivery to support new housing development and population growth.
- Regional Steering Committee for review of the Hunter Regional Plan – recently established to provide advice to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment on matters relating to the forthcoming review of the Hunter Regional Plan.