Hunter Region initiates major effort to boost global trade with new cargo terminal

The Strategy outlines a roadmap for maximizing the export potential of the region while addressing challenges faced by regional airports. By prioritizing the development of the cargo terminal, the strategy aims to streamline export processes, reducing reliance on distant hubs like Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane.

Hunter JO newcastle airport
Image: Hunter JO

The ten councils of the region, The Hunter Joint Organisation (JO) and Newcastle Airport have unveiled the Hunter Airports Strategy, a comprehensive blueprint aimed at bolstering regional connectivity and economic prosperity.

A significant feature of the strategy is the construction of a modern cargo terminal at Newcastle Airport, identified as the key for unlocking international air freight opportunities and driving economic growth in the Hunter region. The Strategy project, funded by the NSW Government's Regional NSW – Business Case and Strategy Development Fund (BCSD), signifies a concerted effort to capitalize on the region's export potential.

Cr John Connors, Mayor of Dungog Shire Council and a key figure on the Hunter JO Board, highlighted the significance of this infrastructure project, stressing its role in expediting the smooth facilitation of global trade.

"Without the essential infrastructure of an air cargo terminal, international cargo cannot be loaded onto airplanes in our region. Enabling the movement of international goods into and out of our region unlocks unprecedented economic opportunities," noted Cr Connors.

“We have great products that the region already exports internationally, but they are currently transported via Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to reach international markets. Being able to export our products through our airport will bring valuable and necessary growth and investment to the Hunter.”

The Strategy will also support the many fine local producers accessing overseas markets - the local SMEs who need to import components to continue their innovation and progression, noted Peter Cock, CEO of Newcastle Airport.

With projections indicating the creation of over 4,400 jobs and $12.7 billion in regional economic activity, the cargo terminal initiative is poised to fuel significant growth in the Hunter region. By capitalizing on export opportunities and strengthening regional infrastructure, stakeholders are confident in their ability to position the Hunter as a competitive player in the international trade arena.

Download the full Hunter Airports Strategy to find out more

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