Newcastle, New South Wales, is situated 160km NNE of Sydney at the mouth of the Hunter River and has a population of over 150,000 The wider Newcastle metropolitan area is the second most populated area in the Australian state of New South Wales and includes most of the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Local Government Areas. It is the hub of the Greater Newcastle area which includes most parts of the Local Government Areas of City of Newcastle, City of Lake Macquarie, City of Cessnock, City of Maitland and Port Stephens Council Famous for its coal, Newcastle is presently the largest coal exporting harbour in the world. Beyond the city, the Hunter Region possesses large coal deposits. Newcastle was a traditional area of heavy industry, with steel (whuich emoloyed 50,000 at its peak) as well as coal. In 1999, the steelworks closed after 84 years operation, causing significant unemployment but beginning a period of economic diversification which has strengthened the local economy.
Since 2003, Australia experienced the effects of the 2000s commodities boom as commodities prices for major export good such as coal and iron ore rose significantly. This provided a large incentive for investment in the Newcastle and Hunter region due to its status as a major coal mining and export hub to Asian markets. Large projects related to the coal industry helped to propel the Newcastle unemployment rate to 20 year lows and allow the Newcastle region to weather the effects of the late 2000s recession better than NSW as a whole. As of 2009 the two largest single employers are the Hunter New England Area Health Service and the University of Newcastle. The National Stock Exchange of Australia (formerly Newcastle Stock Exchange) is based in the city. Newcastle has an abundance of beaches and surf breaks for which the city is internationally well known. Newcastle hosts the annual surfing contest 'Surfest' on the world professional surfing tour. Newcastle sports teams playing in national competitions include the Newcastle Knights, a team that plays in Australia's premier rugby league competition, the National Rugby League, and the Newcastle United Jets soccer team, which plays in Australia's highest level competition, the A-League, both playing at Hunter Stadium Newcastle and the lower Hunter Region were traditionally occupied by the Awabakal and Worimi Aboriginal People, who called the area Malubimba. City Council - http://www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/
Lord Mayor – Councillor John Tate (Independent)
Newcastles of the World contact: Councillor Bob Cook – bobcook.pacific.net.au