ONE of the most commonly used buzzwords within Government and the media at present is "transition".
It is timely that the ten councils of the Hunter Joint Organisation have recently formed the Regional Economic Transition Standing Committee, given the many and diverse variables that are influencing our regional, and indeed our nations' and global, economies.
It is our hope that this Standing Committee will not only bring about rapid change to strengthen our collective local communities resilience to impending changes, but that we can simultaneously initiate a National Foundation for Economic Transition in partnership with other stakeholders, both regional and further afield.
This is not simply about what to do when the coal mining sector eventually declines, it is about so much more than that one variable.
The Hunter is the largest regional economy in Australia, ranking above Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory in terms of economic output.
It drives around 28 per cent of regional NSW's total economic output and is the largest regional contributor to the State's gross domestic product.
With so many jobs at risk (322,000) because of changing economic and environmental climates, we must, as leaders of our communities, ensure that we are constantly readdressing the needs of our regional workforce by creating sustainable, resilient and diverse employment opportunities.