As it transitions from coal fired power, it can be argued that the Hunter region, with its dynamic mining and agribusiness sector, underutilised natural resource base, strong economy, good infrastructure and proximity to a skilled workforce and services industry, could become the national model for transition to a sustainable green economy with food, energy, water and climate at its heart.

Globally there are exciting developments where regional and rural communities are implementing new policy, land use planning, technologies and industrial developments to adapt and balance the rapidly changing needs of the land.

Professor Bush will outline some of these new models for decision-makers, governments and enterprise to manage food, water, and energy management. He will outline the significant opportunity in regional communities like the Hunter for innovation, investment, jobs growth, and social renewal. To a large extent, the work of feeding the population, and providing energy and materials is core business for regional communities. Creating jobs, sustainable products, economic growth and lower environmental impact while doing this appears possible.

Professor Richard Bush

Professor Richard Bush

Professor Richard Bush is a prominent Australian geoscientist and founding Global Innovation Chair to the International Centre for Balanced Land Use. Based at the University of Newcastle's (UON) Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER), the Centre is a multimillion dollar collaboration with New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Industry's Division of Resources and Energy. The Centre draws together the research expertise within NSW DPI, NSW DRE, and the University to collaborate with industry and communities on projects of critical importance to the growth and sustainability of NSW.

Professor Bush has a central role in developing world-class research programs, facilitating cross-institutional collaboration and influencing national and international policy. Balanced land-use management is a benchmark for successful regional community development and robust communities. Evidence based policy that incorporates objectives for economic, environmental and social balance are the foundation for balanced land use in practice.

Professor Bush is a specialist in the area of land and water management, natural resource assessment, land use planning and geoscience based technologies. He has worked with industry, government and academia, published over 200 scientific reports and in the past 10 years has won in excess of $10 million dollars of competitive funding to support his research.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.