Everyday people across the Hunter wake up and go to work. They work to provide for themselves and their families,a lifestyle they want to enjoy. That is the economic driver that gets people to get up and go to work each day. It’s very simple – without money in through the door, you cannot enjoy the lifestyle you desire; we all grapple with income and expenditure every week, each month and around Christmas time each year. For a lot of us, it’s about ensuring we have a great holiday, a good car, the house is paid for, and we have some toys to play with.
Although it may be hard to understand, the government grapples with the same dilemmas albeit on a greater scale every day.It may not be easily recognised, but the local, state and federal governments all understand some of the struggles that businesses and people have; unfortunately, they disguise it well at times.Nonetheless, it all boils down to revenue against expenditure; that is the nuts and bolts of our society.
The simplistic framework that the government has put in place to maximise the strengths of our country and to capitalise on our competitiveness is shaped around the growth centres. Although not encompassing all industries or services, the sectors this government believes contribute to revenue growth are truly reflected inthe Hunter.
Advanced manufacturing– additive manufacturing (3D printing) to advanced polymer products have and are being developed from Scone to Port Stephens.With a large presence from our defence forces, the emphasis is on local companies who work in this space to be at the forefront of advanced technologies. They are lifting to the challenge; the technologies that are being developed every day are being recognised around the world. In our region, we develop radar-tracking systems for defence and civilian use, medical and mining equipmentand provide services that are coveted across the globe.These technologies are being manufactured here in the Hunter; we are already at the cutting edge of development.
Cyber security – through the advent of cloud storage for all our IT, security is integral to any business to be ahead of the game. Once again, the defence sectors play an important role in developing the most encrypted and secure systems to protect our intellectual property. A number of Hunter businesses have latched onto the development of this industry to help commercialise individually tailored products to suit any business. This is happening within the Hunter and with further security measures required not only by defence, but some of the major supply chain vendors to the industry;those sophisticated systems will advance to be best in class.
Food and agribusiness – the Hunter, although not described as the food bowl of the country, still plays a significant role in feeding our nation. We have cattle, sheep, chickens and pigs providing the staple for manyAustralian families. From world-class vineyards to boutique cheeses, the Hunter provides an eclectic range of products to suit the most discerning palate.
Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals-the University of Newcastle is at the leading edge of cancer, cardiovascular, brain and mental health treatments in the Hunter. We have a world-class research centre, Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) that is helping to cure and prevent diseases around the world.
Mining equipment, technology and services(METS)-the Hunter provides the greatest number of METS companies in one single cluster, than anywhere else in Australia. The Hunter leads the way in technologies to make the mining industry the envy of the world. From train loading systems to environmentally sustainable mining practices, our mining industry is the envy of the world. The cleanliness of our Port and the mitigation strategies put in place to care for our environment inwhat is seen as a destructive industry; the Hunter is leading the way with safe, quality driven sustainable practices to showcase to the world how it should be done.
Oil, gas and energy resources– the Hunter has an abundance of gas and energy resources through coal and untapped methane gas supplies.
Methane gas extraction is a divisive subject and, with that, comes the need to ensure the industry has sound data to prove it is safely brought to market. There is no doubt that the supply of gas will be an issue in the Hunter in the coming years. The households and industries in the Hunter rely on the supply of gas for a variety of uses.
The growth centres double as our economic drivers within the Hunter region. They produce, manufacture and provide local and global markets with the services to make our world a better place. Within the numerous supply chains that spill out of the economic drivers, there are opportunities from Murrurundi to Newcastle. The revenue into each and every household is derived from these drivers, if not directly, then indirectly through cafes, restaurants, hotels, butchers, bakersand local barbers.
The Hunter region is a micro economic study into what is happening in Australia. The growth centres are derived from the economic drivers as seen by the government to build on and ensure growth and prosperity for all. The Hunter is providing expertise locally, nationally and globally, through exports in education, medical, defence, minerals and manufacturing excellence.
This article is targeted at people who are doing alright, however we must always remember that some people are doing it tough, probably a lot tougher than people reading this article. Spare a thought for those who are not as well positioned and, wherever possible, give a helping hand.
When the lights are turned on, the dinner is on the table and life seems pretty good, give yourself a rap, as the people of the Hunter have been enormous contributors to the Australian success story.
Enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Wayne H Diemar