Growing the Hunter's defence manufacturing capabilities, funding stage two of the John Hunter Hospital redevelopment, starting work on the Broadmeadow sports and entertainment precinct and funding the Muswellbrook bypass are at the top of the Hunter Business Chamber's state budget wishlist.
The chamber's budget submission says the Hunter Defence Taskforce - a collaborative industry group that includes HunterNet, the business chamber and industry partners - has already assisted many small to medium enterprises across the region become defence ready.
It argues a $200,000 per annum state government commitment to the taskforce in Tuesday's budget would provide a major catalyst to economic growth and diversity in the region.
The push to build the new Broadmeadow sports and entertainment precinct, also known as Hunter Park is also gaining momentum across the region's sporting and business communities.
"We see the Hunter Park project (Broadmeadow precinct) as important on a regional level, in terms of the benefits it could bring for tourism and events, as well as expanding the urban revitalisation begun by Honeysuckle, so we hope to see the government committing to and providing funding to advance the project," Hunter Business Chamber chief executive Bob Hawes said.
Along with support for the M1 motorway extension, the chamber is urging the government to support the Muswellbrook bypass.
"With the necessary federal funding now committed to complete the Singleton Bypass, it is essential that the Muswellbrook Bypass project also gets under way to ensure there are no weak links in a future upgraded New England Highway," Mr Hawes said.
The Committee for the Hunter has also urged the state government to fast track and appropriately resource several regionally significant projects to help assist with the region's economic recovery.
The committee, which is working to secure federal government support for the Newcastle Airport runway upgrade, the University of Newcastle STEMM building and the Newcastle Container Terminal, has identified the north-west Lake Macquarie catalyst area, the Hunter Valley Thoroughbred Centre of Excellence and New England Highway upgrades between Tenterfield and Newcastle as projects it would like to see receive funding
"Government support is not just about funding; smarter planning and partnerships will be critical in ensuring more targeted, timely and coordinated approaches to growth, infrastructure and services," Committee for the Hunter chief executive Alice Thompson said.
"New approaches being trialled in the Sydney metro region can be transferred to the Hunter."
Hunter councils have also identified shovel-ready cycling and pedestrian projects that would be accelerated with funding support.
"We welcome an opportunity to work with Transport for NSW to develop a strategic business case for a Hunter cycling network to ensure a more strategic approach to the planning, sequencing, funding and delivery of projects," Ms Thompson said.
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