Published on Feb 22, 2016

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A planning proposal for the Hydro Kurri Kurri site could create thousands of jobs.

Cessnock City Council submitted the planning proposal to the Department in November 2015 to seek approval to proceed with a rezoning application. If ultimately approved, the planning proposal would see the former aluminium smelter site transformed with land rezoned, amongst other things, for residential, employment and environmental uses.

In January this year Hydro said it predicted “development of the business and industrial area could bring [for the local economy] around $300 million and create up to 30,000 construction jobs as well as several thousand ongoing jobs when the site is fully developed.”

This is in line with Council’s estimate of up to 6,900 ongoing jobs created at full development from the 215 hectares of employment land included in the planning proposal. The employment land would comprise a mix of business and industrial uses.

There is also a provision for 1,485 residential allotments in the planning proposal.

A substantial allocation of land—nearly two thirds of the site (944.7ha)—would be designated for environmental conservation. Council is working to obtain biodiversity certification for the site.

Biodiversity certification would streamline the biodiversity assessment process and avoid the need to undertake a site-by-site threatened species assessment at the Development Application assessment stage. This site-by-site approach has impacted development opportunities in the Hunter Employment Zone, another key site within the LGA with the potential to drive growth, investment and employment opportunities.Hydro Kurri Kurri

The 1,907 hectare Hydro site straddles both Cessnock and Maitland local government areas (LGA). Approximately 80 per cent falls within the Cessnock LGA boundary. At its peak, Hydro added 500 jobs to the local economy through direct employment and subcontracting arrangements.

It is anticipated the complete rezoning process could take up to 18 months.

Visit the Hydro website to find out more about the Kurri Kurri site and plans for its future.