Posts Tagged “project”


An $11.5 million clean-up project at the former Newcastle Gasworks site could start early next year, paving the way for a future development on the Hamilton North site.

The 12-month project would see the heavily contaminated site, which has laid dormant since the mid-1980s, concrete capped and rehabilitated to a level suitable for commercial or industrial purposes.

Newcastle Gasworks operated on the seven hectare site between 1913 and 1985. It left in its wake one of the region’s heavily polluted legacies.

An analysis of contaminants revealed a range of known carcinogens, potentially carcinogenic compounds and toxic compounds including benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), total recoverable hydrocarbons (TRH), benzo(a)pyrene, cyanide, ammonia and lead.

A 2016 report noted some of the toxins, including cyanide, ammonia and lead, were leaching into groundwater and posed a risk to human health and the Hunter River, NSW Department of Planning documents show.



The story of Newcastle’s urban renewal project has been squeezed into road cases and is set to roll out to Australian cities and towns.

The mobile exhibition, ‘Renew In A Box’, is on display at Newcastle Library until the end of January, and will be offered in conjunction with Renew Newcastle’s not-for-profit consultancy service.

Renew Newcastle is a social enterprise project that finds spaces for artists and creatives over the short- and medium-term, within buildings or outdoors, in Newcastle’s CBD that are currently vacant, not used, or awaiting redevelopment.

Buildings were “borrowed” for the project, Renew Newcastle’s general manager Christopher Saunders said.

“And that’s what you’ll see in these boxes.”

An independent economic study by the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle found in 2017 that for every $1 invested in Renew Newcastle it returned $14.40 and added $3 million to the economy.

Renew Newcastle is supported by the NSW Government through Urban Growth NSW, Hunter Development Corporation and NSW Premier’s Department, and backed by Newcastle City Council, Newcastle Now and The GPT Group.

Renew Newcastle has consulted on 39 projects in cities and towns around Australia.

The Renew Newcastle model has been the subject of a television series Not Quite Art on ABC TV, and the book Creating Cities by its founder Marcus Westbury.

More than 200 projects have launched in Newcastle using the Renew model in nine years.

Artists and creatives are only ever temporary tenants, free to stay as long as the buildings were not being used. They must be ready to vacate within 30 days if required.

In Newcastle more than 30 Renew participants have gone on to sign commercial leases on the buildings they started in.




ANYONE who works on this project, said Ben Marmont, understands how it will reshape Newcastle.

The project engineer for the Newcastle Interchange at Wickham was speaking as a hive of activity surrounded him one June afternoon.

Workers were just putting the finishing touches on new cabling for the train platforms, which have quietly taken shape over the past year, a station that the government believes will move thousands of passengers each day after the opening of the light rail network.

It will be the “transfer point” between heavy rail, light rail, buses and coaches.

The $70 million project is nearing completion, and the government has confirmed it remains on track for an October opening.

It comes as the Newcastle Herald last week revealed more than $1.6 billion worth of development is either in progress or in the pipeline for the CBD – new works which will undoubtedly change the face of the city.

It is a fact not lost on Mr Marmont.

“It’s always at the back of your mind, that this is going to change things,” he said. “The area will look different because of the interchange. It will modernise Wickham.”

On a tour of the new interchange, the Herald was told more than 200 workers had been employed at the site at the peak of construction.

The building is on two levels, with the ground floor open to the public and staff housed upstairs.

Fit-out of the office space is well under way, while landscaping – including the plantation of palm trees – has taken place on the ground floor.

Tracks have been laid on the heavy rail side of the interchange, while commuter signage has been installed on the platform.

The platform is roughly the length of two football fields.

“Driving past can be deceptive; it’s hard to grasp how big and complex the project actually is,” Newcastle Interchange engagement manager Kelly Lofberg said.

The government says it has not yet made a decision on the future of The Store building, which neighbours the interchange, as it is still “market testing” private sector interest in the site.

As work on the interchange nears completion, new developments have started to crop up in Wickham, including the neighbouring $9 million Bishopsgate Apartments.

And plans for a $71 million high rise on Railway Lane are currently before the council.

STATE government officials say they have learnt the lessons from of the roll-out of light rail in Sydney, and have vowed not to repeat the same missteps in Newcastle amid concern for the survival of Hunter Street retailers.

Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp said there were “grave concerns” for many businesses directly affected once construction of the rail line begins, mirroring the plight of some retailers on George Street in Sydney, which has been a construction zone for two years.

In September, the government will begin to close sections of Hunter Street to traffic, before working down to Scott Street next year.

Revitalising Newcastle program director Michael Cassel warned that some businesses would feel a pinch during that time.

However, he said that the government was prepared to adapt its plans if they didn’t work.

“The lessons that we’ve learnt and taken on board [from George Street] are you have to have a very close relationship with the business community, you need to be able to react if things aren’t working, don’t expect your construction schedule to occur without bumps – there’s going to be times where things don’t go perfectly right – and be agile enough and focused enough to change,” Mr Cassel said.

Mr Crakanthorp said some Hunter Street businesses would “undoubtedly” close.

“There will be a lot of pain, more than they’re saying,” the Newcastle MP said.

“There are grave concerns that many businesses won’t be viable and will close.”

Mr Cassel disagreed there would be mass closures, believing many could benefit from new trade associated with light rail workers.

“I don’t think you can say it’s just because we’re building light rail that businesses are finding it difficult,” he said.