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In 1992, the Honeysuckle Development Corporation successfully secured $100 million of Building Better Cities funding. Newcastle was fortunate to be well equipped in terms of having a Concept masterplan in place for the redevelopment of 50 hectares of harbourside redundant rail and port related lands. Newcastle was the only regional city to secure such funding. When the Federal Government’s Building Better Cities was conceived, the capital of the Hunter Region had been experiencing a steady decline in the number of people that lived, worked and played in the city. Its leaders and the community recognised that the 50 hectares of redundant rail and port related lands was a significant opportunity to revitalise and create a new energy in the city. The program ensured a strong focus on six key areas: economic; social; environmental; transport; stakeholder and financial. Striving to achieve a balance in all these areas continued beyond the life of the funding program and to this day influences the decisions made regarding the Honeysuckle Urban Renewal Project. Evidence of these outcomes is highlighted in this report and include: ひ provision of affordable housing in the city; ひ significant improvement in the Throsby Creek waterway; ひ restoration of heritage buildings and their adaptive re-use; ひ remediation of former rail and port related lands; ひ provision of significant infrastructure, such as Cowper Street bridge; ひ commitment toward public art and placemaking; ひ delivery of landuses that contribute to the economy yet not necessarily highest and best use such as the Crowne Plaza hotel; ひ provision of continuous waterfront pedestrian and cycleway access; ひ relocation of a struggling Fishermen’s Co-Operative to a thriving business, adding significantly to a new recreational Marina Precinct; ひ creation of a new commercial office precinct that has raised the bar in office accommodation standards in the city; ひ consistent strong support for the Project by the community; ひ creation of over 4,800 direct and indirect jobs and an economic impact of approximately $1.335 billion. At the time the Building Better Cities program and funding came into effect, the fundamentals were not there for the private sector to become involved in the Project. The program and its funding enabled significant infrastructure and detailed planning work to be carried out. This provided a platform to encourage private sector investment. It is evident that government intervention at this early stage was warranted. The significant direct and indirect private sector investment that has resulted is testament to maintaining a holistic view on the economic, social, environmental and governance outcomes as prescribed in the Building Better Cities program. Over the first 4 years of the Honeysuckle Project, the public sector investment was the clear driver. In the past five years, the story is reversed as demonstrated below: ひ Government spent some $115 million ($2007 / 2008) by 1996 and leveraged $27 million in private sector investment. This combined investment generated a total economic impact of $265.8 million over that period representing a return on government investment of approximately 130%. ひ Over the first 10 years of the project, government invested some $174.9 million leveraging another $162.4 million in private sector investment and a total economic impact of $620.9 million or a 256% return on government’s investment. ひ Over the last 5 years, government has played a much smaller role in terms of the level of its investment, spending some $45.5 million and generating $227.3 million of private sector investment. ひ Over the 16 years reported by the Hunter Valley Research Foundation, the Honeysuckle Project has generated an economic impact of $1.335 billion. Once the Project is completed, it is estimated that the Project will have generated an economic impact of over $2.1 billion. With the benefit of hindsight it is clear that the Building Better Cities program and the milestones it set out for the Honeysuckle Project and its environs were ambitious. In any future funding program such as Building Better Cities we would recommend that such ambition be maintained. Of course, not all of its ambitious goals were achieved, however, the significant change that has resulted and the way the community now perceives its waterfront is a testament to the Building Better Cities program. The preparation of this report is also timely, given the recent release of the Newcastle City Centre Renewal Report. The latter report has been prepared given widespread acknowledgement that whilst the Honeysuckle Project and the investment made through the Building Better Cities Program has been a success, it has not been the panacea to all the city’s issues. Further change is required and the work of government is not over. There is a strong and exciting case to be considered for government to again invest in the future of Newcastle both for what could be achieved at the local level and importantly what would be contributed to the nation