City's new Economic Development Strategy to play a critical role in COVID-19 recovery

03 Nov 2020

City of Newcastle is developing a 10-year Economic Development Strategy, which will play a critical role in guiding the city’s COVID-19 economic recovery. 

The community is invited to shape the Strategy, which will envision a future for the Newcastle economy and strive to empower, retain and attract people with skills of the future and create equal opportunity for all members of the community. 

Young people will provide an important voice in the conversation, with the COVID-19 economic crisis disproportionately impacting 18-to-25-year-olds, driving the Hunter Region’s youth unemployment rate to 20.7 per cent. 

City of Newcastle has partnered with TAFE NSW Newcastle, HunterNet and Hunter Young Professionals to directly engage with young people and facilitate discussion through multiple youth-specific workshops.

(L-R): TAFE Services Manager Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, Adrian Collins; City of Newcastle's Economic Strategy & Government Relations Manager, Simon Massey; Hunter Young Professionals President, Kate David; Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen; Hunter Young Professionals Vice-President, Danielle O'Neill; TAFE Regional General Manager, Jason Darney; and HunterNet COO, Nick Couper at Hamilton TAFE Campus.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said with a further almost one in 10 Novocastrians currently unemployed, it was more important than ever to identify future economic opportunities across the board. 

“City of Newcastle’s Economic Development Strategy will focus on long-term actions to help create new jobs, drive investment and promote innovation,” Cr Nelmes said. 

“When the pandemic first hit, City of Newcastle was one of the first Councils across Australia to act, adopting a $5.5 million Community and Economic Resilience Package with a range of programs to support community wellbeing and maximise cashflow. The Resilience Package was endorsed six days before the Federal Government announced the JobKeeper wage subsidy.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said the City had also provided collaborative leadership and advocacy through the facilitation of the City Taskforce.

“Now, we are turning our attention to creating new long-term opportunities for our city, and we are seeking the community’s input,” Cr Clausen said.

A range of programs will be explored under four key pillars: Enabling Skills, Enabling Innovation, City-Shaping Initiatives and Facilitating a Vibrant City.

Community members can have their say via City of Newcastle’s website until Monday 7 December. City of Newcastle will also conduct face-to-face and online workshops with stakeholders and its networks, including the City Taskforce and Strategy and Innovation Committee.

The draft Strategy will be presented to Council in the early new year for consideration to be placed on public exhibition.