The Hunter Region
The Hunter Region covers an area of 34,388 square kilometres comprising 16 State electorates and 14 local government areas. With over one million people, it is the most populous regional area in New South Wales. It has a network of more than 17,600 km's of state roads.
The Hunter is a diverse area with thriving industries including tourism, manufacturing, coal and mining, power generation and winemaking. The Port of Newcastle is the world's largest coal export terminal and exports other cargoes including grains, vegetable oils, alumina, fertiliser and ore concentrates. It is also a popular international and domestic passenger cruise ship destination.
The University of Newcastle boasts 40,000 enrolments and is ranked third in New South Wales for research with a major focus on projects in health; science and engineering; and energy and the environment.
Newcastle Airport is Australia's fastest growing regional airport. It is adjacent to the Williamtown RAAF Base which is home to most of Australia's Hornet and Hawk fighters.
As in all areas, roads and road transport are important to local economies and meet the accessiblity and growth needs of rural communities. Well planned, well designed and well built roads are vital for economic development.
The F3 Freeway, Pacific, Central Coast, New England and Golden highways are major routes for interstate and intrastate travel. The Hunter Expressway will be significant for the region's continued economic development, providing a more direct and efficient route for freight between the Upper Hunter and the Port of Newcastle.