The Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils is quite extraordinary. Ten councils working together to kick goals for our whole region - from Merewether to Merriwa, from Taree to Wyee.
Different councils, one vision for the Hunter. We are working flat out on persuading Canberra that we have every key ingredient to be the next region to benefit from a City Deal. What are these deals?
Well if you thought 10 councils collaborating was a radical idea, try this: federal, state and local governments all working in partnership - with industry and the community - to smarten up our cities to their maximum potential.
These partnerships have transformed some cities and regions in the UK, Europe and the US. They follow the same model - stop different levels of government working against each other and wasting money on conflicting activities.
Get them all round a table to eliminate waste, inefficiency and contradiction from the traditional way of operating. Zero in on the critical investments that can ignite a region's economy, prosperity and lifestyle.
Eight Western Sydney councils signed up to one last year.
Already work has begun on a rail link that will be the spine of that region linking almost all of it to the new airport and employment zone around it.
What could this mean for the Hunter? Australia's first ever export industry was coal - from Newcastle. Now it's the world's biggest coal exporter. Could our port do other things? Absolutely.
We already have a railway from Newcastle to Muswellbrook. A mere 100 kilometres of extra track would link our port to Dubbo and the inland rail being built from Melbourne to Brisbane. Newcastle becomes a major import/export centre for container freight.
What if you could fly direct from LA or Beijing into Williamtown? Chinese tourism to Australia is off the charts, mainly funnelled through congested Sydney. Fix up our airport and our tourism industry could explode.
Sydney is bursting at the seams. What if some of those skilled migrants were attracted to our pristine beaches, vineyards and world-class university and health networks?
Boom times for the Hunter.
A City Deal is the key to unlock our potential and recognise our importance as Australia's sixth biggest economic region. Nowhere in Australia has more potential to unleash. Your Hunter councils are fighting - together - for the future prosperity of your region.