THE Hunter Business Chamber has backed a plan for a Committee for Greater Newcastle.
The council unanimously endorsed lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes’ plan at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Cr Nelmes’ proposal put to councillors said Newcastle would be joining a range of Australian cities, including Geelong and Perth, that had “non-partisan” groups representing a wide range of interests, which helped those cities in their relations with governments.
The lord mayoral minute said a Committee for Greater Newcastle would bring together leaders from business and industry sectors with community and government organisations to identify and analyse local issues and promote the city.
Cr Nelmes said a committee that adopted a long-term focus could transcend short-term political cycles.
On Wednesday chamber president Jonathan Vandervoot said the business group welcomed the council’s attention to the matter.
Mr Vandervoot said the chamber had already begun working with bodies including the University of Newcastle, Property Council, Port of Newcastle, the airport and the Urban Development Institute of Australia.
“We look forward to engaging more widely going forward but this is indicative of significant appetite and commitment to providing a united and collaborative approach to advocacy efforts in the Hunter,” he said.
Mr Vandervoot said Hunter Business Chamber was also opposed to the potential shifting of the Carrington coal terminal revealed in Wednesday’s Newcastle Herald.
“The statement in the draft plan does not reflect the importance of the Carrington coal terminal nor is it consistent with other state government plans such as the Hunter Regional Plan 2036,” he said.
“We look forward to engaging further with Government around these matters and ensuring the best outcomes for Greater Newcastle and the wider Hunter.”