Hunter Renewal

Hunter Renewal is a project to bring people, businesses, and organisations of the Hunter Valley together to envision a diverse, resilient, and thriving future for our region.

In the Hunter Valley of NSW thermal coal mining dominates the economy and landscape, with thousands of local families and businesses reliant on income from the industry.

Almost all of the coal mined in the Hunter is exported overseas to be burnt for electricity, but the countries we sell coal to are moving to limit and reduce their use of coal, and the industry is expected to decline in the coming decades.   

We cannot wait for decline before we start planning what comes next. Hunter Renewal is bringing the people of the Hunter together for crucial conversations about how we can chart a new course for our future.

We want to re-imagine the Hunter with new opportunities and a diversified and resilient economy that is ready for a changing future.

We want a plan for the Hunter that will:

  • Nurture and grow new industries and new jobs.
  • Protect and advance our traditional sustainable industries.
  • Provide new opportunity and skills for young people in the region.
  • Make sure workers in the coal industry are given the opportunities they need to re-skill and transition to quality new jobs when coal mines and power stations wind down.
  • Rehabilitate our landscapes to provide clean water and productive country for generations to come.

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The Hunter Renewal project was initially envisaged by the Hunter Central Rivers Alliance and Lock the Gate. Both groups are focused on supporting regional communities to make decisions for themselves about their future.

Initial door-knocking in the Hunter of over 3,000 households found 90% of people spoken to wanted a plan for the future of the region after coal mining. It was evident that no one in politics or business was supporting the development of a community-driven plan, so these groups stepped in to address the gap.

Following the Hunter Renewal summit in February 2019, when 100 people came together to talk about the region’s future, a Hunter Renewal Working Group was established to lead Hunter Renewal. The working group is focused on supporting the diversification and resilience of the Hunter and making sure that the region that has given so much for the prosperity of New South Wales is supported to adapt and grow into the future.