Bunderra's Future Bright

In more than 18 years with Lake Macquarie
City Council, Business Development Manager
Bunderra Subdivision Plan(Rev 9)-(06-09-12) (Small)

Graeme Hooper has seen a multitude of changes, but few that will have such wide ranging impacts as the redevelopment of former industrial land to form the new integrated community of Bunderra.

The 207Ha Bunderra development, which will comprise residential, recreational, commercial and industrial sites, is now underway with the release of its most easterly land, Cardiff Central, effectively a long awaited extension of the highly successful Cardiff Industrial Estate.

Cardiff Central is zoned 4(2) Industrial (General) and comprises 23 allotments ranging in sizes from 2552 to 13,080m2.

Overall the Bunderra site extends from Cardiff and Argenton to Boolaroo and east of Boolaroo to Macquarie Hills. It will ultimately contain 800 dwellings catering for 2750 residents and the potential for 1600 jobs in a variety of industries.

But the figures don’t convey the importance of the site and its impact as it will provide the impetus for road and rail networks and a hub that Lake Macquarie has long needed.

According to Graeme, the release of the Cardiff Central site has been much anticipated and initial purchasers have been some of the 300 businesses already employing 5500 people within the industrial estate.

“Since the late ‘80s Cardiff Industrial Estate has been chocablock and what we have seen over the years is newer buildings on old sites and a major intensification in terms of the number of business and the numbers of people employed,”
Graeme said.

“Indeed, given that road access is going to go through in the next few years and the Pennant Street Bridge will hopefully be going in in the next 2-5 years, I’m surprised that the land hasn’t been completely snapped up.  “It’s one of the number one priorities for the region according to RTA Hunter, the Hunter Business Chamber and Council. The Federal Government has already put funds in to get the roadwork moving and the State Government has put funds up so detailed design works are currently underway.
“It will be a major regional hub. With the Hunter Expressway opened up and
Freeway access to Raymond Terrace, anywhere is going to be 30-35 minutes
from Cardiff Central.  “The Department of Planning’s Lower Hunter Strategy has earmarked Cardiff-Glendale as an emerging regional centre.”

Graeme said that business owners, particularly those from Western Sydney, that he speaks to cannot believe the lifestyle advantages with affordable housing just 10 minutes away and all essential services at their doorstep in Cardiff rather than 20 minutes away as is normally the case with industrial estates.

“When they look at the cost of housing and the ready access to medical and education facilities they just get blown away,” he said.

In terms of local business Graeme said he was seeing a lot of companies that no longer believed it is necessary to be located close to mining, preferring instead to give their employees the lifestyle options that come with living within 10 minutes of their workplace.

“We also have a situation where a lot of businesses already in the estate have become inefficient by building warehousing, manufacturing and offices on separate sites as they became available rather than move. These businesses are looking to the affordable land at Cardiff Central as a way to consolidate.”

Graeme believes that Novocastrians tend to take their area for granted and it is not widely known that the broader Cardiff Glendale area through the Hillsborough Rd employs just as many people as the inner Newcastle area from Wickham to the East End.

“There are more than 15,000 people employed through that whole belt and Central to it is Cardiff where an extraordinary number of people own their own homes and the percentage of disposable income per household is well above the region’s average.

“No matter how you look at it that is a large number of business and people already on the doorstep of those firms in the Cardiff Industrial Estate and those planning to move into Cardiff Central.”

Looking to the future Graeme said one of the location’s very real advantages was its ability to cater to future growth.  

“Since 1993 a mass of houses have been built from Edgeworth through to West Wallsend but there are a lot more to go with big banks of BHP land from Killingworth to West Wallsend to be developed at some stage.

“In what other city in Australia can you work 20 minutes from all of your markets and live an affordable lifestyle 20 minutes from the beaches and the lake, 90 minutes from Sydney and 10 minutes from work.”

Steven Dick
Director Raine & Horne Commercial

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