In September 2021, the Hunter JO participated in a virtual roundtable for the Hunter region hosted by the Regional NSW Housing Taskforce. The Taskforce was formed with a focus on barriers in the planning system impacting housing supply, and the Hunter JO took the opportunity to discuss the need for improved integrated land use planning. This had a particular focus on the need to reform transport planning, delivery and investment within the Hunter.
A regional submission was subsequently lodged on behalf of member councils, which highlighted the ongoing challenge presented by lack of integration, funding and delivery of transport infrastructure in conjunction with urban development over many years.
The submission also identified the need within the Hunter region to invest in the growth of infrastructure development and regional economic planning, and the opportunity for the State Government to further support councils and the Hunter region in addressing housing supply issues through enacting key reforms.
The key findings from the regional housing taskforce are consistent with the advocacy efforts of the Hunter JO, including unique factors and challenges in regional housing markets, the need for improved upfront strategic planning, land rezoning, and aligned approaches to infrastructure planning, delivery and coordination.
This aligns with our previous advocacy throughout 2020 in which the Hunter JO developed initiatives around housing supply and integrated transport planning in the Hunter region as part of the Transport for NSW Reference Group. This included a Ministerial Brief on RMS Delays sent to the then Minister for Transport and Roads.