As part of Newcastle’s ongoing transformation, talent is returning from Sydney and the Hunter Valley to be a part of a community that is ever evolving.
Professionals such as Monteath & Powys’ new recruit, Geoffrey Rock, have been attracted by Newcastle’s regeneration and returned to the city to be part of the change.
Joining the team as a Director, Geoffrey said he made the move from Rio Tinto to Newcastle surveying, planning and project management firm, Monteath & Powys because he saw a rare and exciting opportunity to be involved in the rejuvenation of a working city.
Geoffrey believes that whilst the Newcastle inner city transformation is well advanced on the back of the light rail project and other significant investment by the state government, there will be two projects that will ensure the city is a global powerhouse for years to come.
“The Port of Newcastle is already a major global gateway. South East Asia’s demand for NSW’s high-quality coal will continue for many decades yet, and whilst the port is the largest coal exporter in the world, we only use 50% of its overall capacity. The push for a container terminal in Newcastle to enable the port to diversify the uses and utilise that spare capacity makes complete sense,” Geoffrey said.
He also notes the greater economic benefit the container terminal will play in the development of Newcastle and the NSW regional economy.
“The federal government’s next national infrastructure project is the inland rail that will link Victoria to Queensland,” Geoffrey said.
“Newcastle will be the only deep-water port on the Eastern Seaboard with direct rail access to that inland rail, so if the container terminal goes ahead, the economic value can’t be overstated.”
Geoffrey believes that if the region can work together to secure the upgrade of Newcastle Airport to full international runway capability, the Hunter’s ability to put fresh produce directly into Asia and beyond will change everything.
“We won’t be able to supply enough beef. Combine that with increased tourism opportunities and the regional impact is massive,” Geoffrey said.
Monteath & Powys is playing an integral role in the transformation of Newcastle. Its portfolio, which includes involvement in projects such as the Newcastle light rail, the Verve and East End developments, plus the diverse range of talent, experience and capability within the firm were major drawcards for Geoffrey.
With a portfolio specialising in project management, property development and surveying, Geoffrey commenced his role as a Director with Monteath & Powys in late 2018.
“Monteath & Powys’ ability to use our history, knowledge and expertise to help shape the future of this region through the projects we are involved in is very exciting,” Geoffrey said.
Geoffrey’s role as Chairman of the Hunter Chapter of the UDIA (Urban Development Institute of Australia) further inspired him to play a larger role in the transformation of Newcastle.
“We have a chapter of highly enthused people here in the Hunter who are not only promoting the development industry, but extremely focused on maintaining our enviable Newcastle lifestyle.”
Geoffrey believes a big part of the challenge for Newcastle is making sure strategic planning across all three levels of government is aligned. “This will ensure we achieve appropriate development and conservation outcomes whilst protecting the lifestyle and environment that Novocastrians are accustomed to.”
A significant part of Geoffrey’s 16-year career with Rio Tinto focused on getting that balance right between the development necessary to create jobs and house the region’s future population and providing conservation outcomes. In one of his significant projects with Rio Tinto, Geoffrey led a team who rezoned 4,800 hectares of former mining land and ultimately transferred 3,800 hectares (or around 80%) of that land to the NSW Government for National Parks. An achievement he will be proud to tell his grandchildren about.
Chairman of the Board of Monteath & Powys, Rob Monteath sees Geoffrey’s appointment as a coup for the firm.
“Geoff’s wealth of knowledge and expertise in the development industry along with his relationship-building and people management skills make him an invaluable asset to the team,” Rob said.
IMAGE | Monteath & Powys’ new Director and Development Services Manager, Geoffrey Rock.
Established in 1950, Monteath & Powys are a leading Hunter-based surveying, planning and environment, engineering design, project management and GIS service company. Their portfolio includes involvement in projects such as the Newcastle light rail, the Verve and East End developments.
From their offices across NSW, Monteath & Powys’ team of more than 60 work in close collaboration to provide clients with high quality outcomes and exacting personalised service.