Circular Economy Precincts and Futures Hub

We have officially kicked off our Circular Economy Precincts and Futures Hub project, funded by the Department of Regional NSW Business Case and Strategy Development Fund.

As our region evolves, the circular economy can become a key economic opportunity for the Hunter. Our Circular Precincts and Futures Hub project is a comprehensive exploration of opportunities in the Hunter region to bring the circular economy into reality on an industrial scale.

This project will create a concept plan, business case, and implementation roadmap for a circular economy precinct/s and futures hub for our region. These outcomes will provide certainty to industry and government, and inform what is needed in terms of funding, skills, and infrastructure to develop these precincts.

GHD Example of what a precinct could look like for organics (not indicative of all material types)

GHD Example of what a precinct could look like for organics (not indicative of all material types)

The precinct concepts will:

  • Consider the context of a network of circular economy businesses across the region and four physical multi-element circular economy industrial precincts
  • Explore the potential for circular processing, renewable energy production and value-added businesses
  • Explore the ability to deliver diversified employment opportunities and new industries
  • Consider key circular elements of existing work on renewable energy industrial precincts, clean manufacturing precincts, and special activation precincts
  • Align with the hydrogen hub work already underway in the region

The Circular Economy Futures Hub will provide a trusted body to govern, support and grow the circular economy in the Hunter and Central Coast, while being a key point for circular economy knowledge and data. Refer to the below graphic for what functions the Futures Hub may include.

GHD Futures Hub concept design leveraging transitions management

GHD has been engaged to deliver the concept plans, business case and implementation pathway. GHD will leverage circular economy practitioners, industrial ecology principals and technology subject matter experts to codesign the precincts and futures hub with stakeholders. They will work alongside an Expert Panel of industry experts, including:

  • Annie Jiang, Go Circular – Lead Panelist
  • Dr Anumitra Mirti, Environmental Resilience Planning
  • Granville Taylor, Hunter Circular Economic Zone
  • Mark Glover, EcoWaste
  • Troy Uren, UTL Utilities

The expert panel will provide input and review the draft outputs produced by GHD at each stage of the project.

When investigating how a circular economy precinct should look in the region, GHD will consider:

  • Pre-feasibility: what are the available technologies, and how can they be applied to the local material flows?
  • Desirability: is there interest and buy-in from stakeholders in the region?
  • Viability: how would a precinct operate and fit into the local market?

According to the answer to these questions, a precinct may look like one or more physical precincts sites, or a network for interconnected businesses across the region. GHD will produce concept plans for the precincts, including technological design and site selection.

All of this work will involve extensive stakeholder engagement, with suppliers, operators, community and government. There will be numerous opportunities to participate in workshops to help co-design the precincts and futures hub models.

If you would like more information on this project, please contact Chris Dart on