Newcastle CBD

Revitalising Newcastle

The Revitalising Newcastle Community Engagement Program is your chance to influence what Newcastle city centre will be like in decades to come. Think big and get involved in making Newcastle a world-class, harbourfront city.
Share your ideas on: 
•    Restoring and repurposing Newcastle railway station
•    Enhancing our civic precinct and improving connections to the waterfront
•    Creating a regional entertainment precinct in the city centre
•    Helping grow new jobs in the city centre
•    Enhancing the city’s public open spaces for activities and events
But don't stop there. Introduce your great ideas to the community and start a discussion.
To share your ideas: 
•    Participate in our Revitalising Newcastle Community Forum (register here)
•    Participate in our Revitalising Newcastle Future Leaders Forum (for 12-25 year olds)(register here)
•    Visit our pop-up consultation hubs at local events (view calendar)
•    Take our online survey
•    Participate in online discussion forums
•    Phone 1800 359 545
•    Get social with Facebook and Twitter #revitalisingnewcastle


Newcastle University city centre expansion

UrbanGrowth NSW and Hunter Development Corporation (HDC) have welcomed Premier Mike Baird’s announcement that will see the University of Newcastle (UON) significantly increase its inner city presence and become a major catalyst in the revitalisation of Newcastle. The agreement will allow UON to maximise two hectares of prime land in the Honeysuckle precinct to expand on the exciting portfolio of UON development in the city which includes NeW Space and the new Innovation Hub. Planning Minister Rob Stokes also welcomed the news, having authorised direct negotiations between the UON, HDC and UrbanGrowth NSW to explore opportunities to increase the presence of the University in the Newcastle city centre in September. “The Premier’s announcement today is transformational for Newcastle. It will ensure the improvement we are making to public spaces and transport will be underpinned by a university fuelled vibrancy in the city centre.” The city-changing announcement follows 12 months of working closely together under a Memorandum of Understanding between UrbanGrowth NSW, HDC and UON to seek opportunities to grow the university and attract new talent, new enterprise and entrepreneurs to build jobs and create a more livable city. UrbanGrowth NSW’s Revitalising Newcastle Program Director Michael Cassel said the agreement was a big win for Newcastle and the local economy. “We are really proud of our role in helping UON explore opportunities to maximise its growth potential and play a pivotal role in revitalising the city at the same time,” said Mr Cassel. “Revitalising Newcastle is focused on creating a renewed city centre that attracts people back into the city, reconnects the city to the waterfront, and creates new jobs as well as new transport solutions. “The future is bright. We are looking forward to creating more opportunities on the former heavy rail corridor to support more students in the city, as well as delivering the light rail, which will become an integral transport solution for future students. “The UON Honeysuckle site is close to two new light rail stops, allowing students to maximise public transport and other active transport including cycling and walking around this great city,” he said. HDC Acting General Manager Valentina Misevska said an expanded university presence would change the economic trajectory of the city centre: “We are very pleased the UON will have a footprint in the Honeysuckle precinct in close proximity to its other city assets.” HDC has long believed an expanded university presence in the city was a key catalyst for urban renewal. This announcement builds on the government’s $25 million support for the NeW Space campus and $9.8 million for the Hunter Innovation Project. “This is aligned with the Hunter Regional Plan to create a vibrant new metropolitan area and to ensure that homes, jobs and infrastructure are delivered in the right locations,” said Ms Misevska. Revitalising Newcastle looks forward to continuing to work with UON to ensure Newcastle becomes a city renowned for its education, culture and tourism on an international stage.

June 2013 Light rail announced for Newcastle

Our urban renewal strategy will reunite the Newcastle city centre with its waterfront, unlocking the enormous potential of the city and making it a diverse, vibrant and attractive place for visitors and locals.

The revitalisation announced by the NSW Government in December 2012 included changes in relation to the rail line that ensured the return of the city's beautiful harbour to its people. This has already triggered a burst of private development activity in the area. This project will be fast tracked with proceeds from the lease of Newcastle Port.

The proposed new light rail option between a minimum of Wickham and Newcastle is potentially only the beginning of a light rail system for Newcastle. $10 million will be allocated to explore the potential for this link to be the basis for light rail linking the CBD with surrounding suburbs, beaches and the broader Hunter region.

This is the third light rail project under this Government and will be a critical part of the revitalisation of Newcastle as a modern city - fast tracked through the lease of Newcastle Port.

December 2012 Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy released

The NSW Government will transform and revitalise Newcastle's city centre to boost economic activity, making Newcastle a more vibrant place for locals and visitors, and reinforcing its role as a 21st century regional centre. A strategy has been announced with a range of initiatives and an implementation plan to help drive urban renewal and improve links between the city centre and its waterfront.

The initiatives will revitalise Hunter Street with activity focused on three key hubs to form a dynamic city centre offering a range of experiences for the wider region and eight new crossings to link the city centre with the foreshore.

Significant upgrades are planned for Wheeler Place and Hunter Street Mall, with a new transport interchange to be built at Wickham to serve the city's emerging commercial hub, providing more travel options and better connectivity for people outside Newcastle. New retail, residential and leisure activities across these different precincts will stimulate the city centre and surrounding areas.


March 2011 Cruise Ship Terminal report released

The Newcastle City Centre Renewal Report identifies the development of a cruise ship terminal as a key catalyst project for the renewal of the Newcastle city centre.

In March 2011 the Location Options Report for Newcastle Harbour Cruise Ship Terminal was released.

This report outlines the investigations carried out on behalf of a reference group including the Hunter Development Corporation and other key agencies into the identification of a preferred site for a permanent home berthing cruise ship terminal for Newcastle. The reference group also included the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Industry and Investment NSW, Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Port Corporation and Cruise Hunter.

Follow this link to view the report ...

2009 Newcastle City Centre Renewal Report


On 22 August 2008 the NSW Government announced the formation of a Newcastle CBD Taskforce to oversee the preparation of a strategy to stimulate private sector investment and economic growth in the Newcastle CBD.

The Taskforce was comprised of various agencies, including the Office of the Coordinator General, Hunter Development Corporation (HDC), Newcastle City Council, NSW Treasury, State Property Authority, Attorney General's Department, NSW Police, Planning & Infrastructure and the Ministry of Transport.


The aims of the Taskforce were to identify projects to support and facilitate private sector investment in the Newcastle City Centre, identify options for development/redevelopment of Government assets and facilitate community consultation on the future city centre public domain with regard to the renewal and investment in the city centre.

Public consultation phase

The Taskforce conducted a series of five workshops:

  • Industry stakeholder workshop (26 September 2008);
  • Government occupied assets stakeholder workshop (9 October 2008);
  • Public workshop on transport, public domain and connectivity (13 October 2008);
  • Urban Design workshop (13 November 2008) and;
  • Public meeting to report progress to date (11 December 2008).

During the workshops and throughout the extensive consultation phase a wide range of comments and submissions were received from individuals and groups including a detailed submission from the Save Our Rail group. All comments and submissions have been recorded, collated and published on the Hunter Development Corporation website in the form of a report from the workshop process It is also available on the Newcastle City Council website.

Detailed investigation phase

At the final Taskforce meeting the Minister for the Hunter and Member for Newcastle, Jodi McKay, announced the NSW Government had given to HDC the task of investigating the various projects and options put forward during the Taskforce consultation phase in more detail with a view to preparing a report for the NSW Government that would be capable of forming the basis of a submission to the Commonwealth Government.

Since then HDC has formed a Project Control Group (PCG) to oversee this work. The detailed investigation work required to enable the city to make the most informed decisions about its transport and connectivity needs as well as other projects of significance is currently underway.


The NSW Government has set HDC the task of producing a report on these matters for consideration by the Government by late February/early March 2009.

This report will form the basis of a submission to the Commonwealth Government to be made in mid-2009.

For more information read the following:

The Hunter Development Corporation submitted the report to the NSW Government on 19 March 2009.

On 26 May the Government placed the report on public display.

Three supporting documents - Two reports from consulting firm Urbis and one report from consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff - are also available on the 'Publications' page.