The Hunter Chapter Committee exists to improve conditions for development in the Greater Newcastle metropolitan region by clearing away red tape and reducing costs. The Chapter focuses its work on the local government areas of Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens.

The UDIA Hunter Committee members for 2019 are:

Geoffrey Rock (Chair), Monteath & Powys

Michael Nelmes (Vice Chair), ADW Johnson

Ross Hyde-Smith, Allam Property Group

Tim De Grauw, APD

David Gray, Ashlar Property

Nathan Huon, AVID Property Group

Steve Barr, Barr Property & Planning

Konrad Grinlaubs, BuildCert

Mark Griffin, Daracon

Gully Coote, Defence Housing Australia

Michael Wratten, Johnson Property Group

Sean Lucy, Lake Macquarie Council

Stephen Thompson, LWP Property Group

Kate Swain, McCullough Robertson

Fiona Nelson, Moray & Agnew

Ben Clark, Northrop

Mark Kentwell, PRDnationwide

Rachel Cogger, RPS

Alan McKelvey, Sparke Helmore

Key Policy Issues

In 2019 the Hunter Chapter Committee is focused on planning and delivery issues including:

  1. Hunter Regional Plan

  2. Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan

  3. Greater Newcastle Urban Development Program

  4. Draft Hunter SIC

  5. Local government strategic planning, development assessment, and development contributions

  6. Implementation of the Biodiversity Conservation Act

  7. Strategic bio-certification for the Greater Newcastle metro area

  8. Agency issues, including:

    • Implementation of new Hunter Water policies (growth funding; certification of developer works);

    • RMS WAD process, referral delays, and bank guarantees;

    • Ausgrid operations, planning and funding;

    • Office of Water (NRAR) operations and delays;

    • Other issues as they arise

Working Groups

In addition to the formal Hunter Committee, and in order to facilitate broader involvement across the membership, the Hunter Chapter has established a series of Working Groups to focus on specific issues. Each Working Group is led by a Hunter Committee member, and reports to the Chair and Committee.  Members of Working Groups may be drawn from the broader local membership (i.e., beyond Committee members). To join a Working Group, contact the Regional Manager.

The table below lists the Working Groups and initial deliverables, which may be changed by the Chair depending on the priorities for the year.

Land Development Planning Develop recommendations and submissions on Developer Contributions (SIC & s7.11/s7.12) Steve Barr



Advise on UDIA’s participation in Hunter UDP Committee and assist in updating Hunter Building Blocks
Develop recommendations and submissions to Council housing strategies and local strategic planning statements
Work with members and councils to develop and maintain list of agency referral timeframes
Biodiversity Monitor implementation of BCA. Gather data on time and cost for comparison and improvement. Nathan Huon & Alan McKelvey



Continue engagement with DPIE and OEH on strategic bio-certification. Provide information to and seek input from members, address concerns with DPIE.
RMS Work to improve and speed up the WAD process. Ben Clark




Advocate for better resourcing and process improvements in the agency referral area.
Develop recommendations for risk management alternatives that could reduce industry burden of 100% bank guarantee for works.
Hunter Water Monitor utility and recommend improvements to process of growth funding policy. Geoff Rock


Monitor utility and recommend improvements to process of developer works policy.
Develop advocacy program to capture more HWC dividends in the Hunter.
Ausgrid Gather evidence of operations issues and recommend improvements as necessary. Tim De Grauw


Develop recommendation on Treasury execution of easement documents
Investigate need for better planning and funding policy; work with UDIA NSW Infrastructure Committee to develop recommendations.
Events & Training, Media and Membership Identify media opportunities; event topics and speakers; training topics and speakers; and assist in member recruitment. Fiona Nelson


Events and Training in the Region

UDIA holds four paid events in the Hunter each year with high profile speakers from the industry discussing issues important to the region.  For more details visit our [Events] page. We also periodically host free Member Briefings with Department of Planning and other authorities to provide updates on key issues for the industry. These Member Briefings are communicated via email and our Regional Developers Update monthly newsletters.

To sponsor a Hunter event, contact

UDIA NSW also offers training workshops in Newcastle for our regional members. The Hunter Knowledge Series is targeted to newer industry professionals who want to grow their knowledge base and learn new skills while expanding industry connections. The sessions are held over lunch and limited to 20 participants to allow for maximum interactive learning.

Regional Manager
Elizabeth York
0434 914 901