The Hunter and Central Coast Regional Environmental Management Strategy (HCCREMS) is a program of the Councils of the region – Central Coast, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle, Port Stephens, MidCoast, Cessnock, Maitland, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Dungog and Upper Hunter. The program is delivered by the Hunter Joint Organisation of Councils, Environment Division.

Established in 1996, the program is managed by a dedicated regional team of environmental professionals in partnership with member councils, as well as state and federal agencies, NGOs and community networks and associations.

Initiatives undertaken are identified through a 3-year strategic planning process with the Directors of Environment and Planning. The current focus areas include:

The HCCREMS Strategy seeks to:

Facilitate regional cooperation on the development and delivery of a range of environmental management and protection projects targeting natural resource management,
biodiversity conservation, waste and an recycling, urban sustainability, environmental compliance, climate change and community education

Promote Ecologically sustainable development and assist councils to be leaders in their communities on ESD matters.

Coordinate and promote cost effective and sustainable environmental management practices and solutions, through regional cooperation in research, capacity building, planning and information exchange between the member councils.

Attract funding and resources to the region to design and deliver innovation and best practice in environmental management policies, practices and programs.

HCCREMS Program Report

HCCREMS Program Report

Our Member Councils

Our Member Councils

The HCCREMS program is a long term partnership between the 14 councils of the Hunter, Central and Lower North Coast Region of NSW. Our member councils are diverse in both land area, populations and development pressures, but often face similar challenges in addressing environmental management responsibilities and issues.

Central Coast Council - Blue

Central Coast Council

Gosford – (02) 4325 8222
Wyong -(02) 4350 5555

Cessnock City Council

Cessnock City Council

PO Box 152
Tel: (02) 4993 4100
Fax: (02) 4993 4200

Dungog Shire Council

Dungog Shire Council

PO Box 95
Tel: (02) 4992 1224
Fax: (02) 4992 2044

Lake Macquarie City Council

Lake Macquarie City Council

PO Box 1906
Tel: (02) 4921 0333
Fax: (02) 4958 7257

Maitland City Council

Maitland City Council

PO Box 220
Tel: (02) 4934 9700
Fax: (02) 4933 3209

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MidCoast Council

Forster – (02) 6591 7222
Gloucester – (02) 6538 5250
Taree – (02) 6592 5399

Muswellbrook Shire Council

Muswellbrook Shire Council

PO Box 122
Tel: (02) 6549 3700
Fax: (02) 6549 3701

The City of Newcastle

The City of Newcastle

PO Box 489
Tel: (02) 4974 2000
Fax: (02) 4974 2222

Port Stephens Council

Port Stephens Council

PO Box 42
Tel: (02) 4980 0255
Fax: (02) 4989 3612

Singleton Council

Singleton Council

PO Box 314
Tel: (02) 6578 7290
Fax: (02) 6572 4197

Upper Hunter Shire Council

Upper Hunter Shire Council

PO Box 208
Tel: (02) 6540 1100
Fax: (02) 6545 2671

Our Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee

The HCCREMS team and the regional programs they coordinate are guided by a committee comprised of the Directors of Planning &/or Environment (or their senior management appointees) from the 14 member councils.

Central Coast Council Luke Sulkowski Director, Environment & Planning
Cessnock City Council Gareth Curtis Planning and Environment Director
Dungog Shire Council Paul Minett Manager Environmental Services
MidCoast Council Lisa Schiff Director, Planning & Environmental Services
Lake Macquarie City Council Alice Howe Manager Sustainability
Maitland City Council David Simm Manager – Development & Environment
Muswellbrook Shire Council Fiona Plesman Director, Planning, Community & Corporate Services
Newcastle City Council Kristy Munro Senior Strategist – Environment
Port Stephens Council Mike McIntosh Group Manager Development Services
Singleton Council Mark Ihlein Director Planning and Sustainable Environment Group
Upper Hunter Council Matt Pringle Director Environmental Services

Log in to the directors Forum

Our Staff

Our Staff


Bradley NolanDirector

Bradley has an Honours Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Wollongong and has completed a management course through the New Zealand Quality Standards Association.

He has been working in the environmental management field since 1998. His environmental management expertise has been developed through a number of positions with Local and State Government, in both Australia and New Zealand.

Bradley has extensive experience in the area of waste management including the development of local and regional strategies & policies; design, letting and implementation of waste collection and processing contracts, operational management of landfills and transfer stations, and the design and implementation of community engagement projects.

Bradley is responsible for managing the Division’s strategic planning; project design, delivery and management; and partner liaison. He also manages the delivery of professional services to 14 member councils including research, data acquisition and analysis, GIS mapping, professional development and capacity building, policy and strategy development, community education and ecological services.


Steve WilsonDeputy Director

Steve has a Masters Degree in Environmental Management and a Bachelor of Horticultural Science from the University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury.

He has been working directly with local government across a range of natural resource and environmental management issues since 1997. His environmental management experience spans a number of issues including: climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning, land management and rehabilitation, biodiversity conservation, wetland management, Acid Sulfate Soils, climate adaptation, environmental education, natural resource planning, State of the Environment Reporting, and catchment and estuary management.

Steve currently specialises in managing our regional Climate Change program earning a number of LGSA Excellence in Environment Awards for the development and implementation of a range of risk management, adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

Steve is a senior manager in the HCCREMS team and plays an active role in strategic planning; project design, delivery and management; and partner liaison.

Steve has represented HCCREMS at a number of National, State and Regional Conferences.


Michael NevilleRegional Waste Coordinator

Michael holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Sydney and a Diploma of Project Management. He has extensive teaching experience, as well as over 15 years working in the field of waste management and education.

Michael has considerable expertise in project coordination, event management, and the design and delivery of local and regional community education & engagement programs. He has also had extensive experience in the operation of local government waste systems. Michael has also previously facilitated regional approaches to waste management through involvement with both the Northern and Southern Sydney Waste Boards.

He joined HCCREMS in 2014 as the Hunter Regional Waste Program Coordinator responsible for the implementation of the 2014-2017 Regional Waste Strategy in collaboration with member councils and the NSW EPA. In this role he works closely with member councils on the development and implementation of projects and initiatives that guide the region’s waste management infrastructure and systems to meet the NSW waste targets (data management, regional education, system alignment, industrial ecology, infrastructure enhancements).

Anna LundmarkRegional Program Manager – Contaminated Lands

Anna holds a Master of Science from the Lund University, Sweden. She has been working in the contaminated land field since 2004 and is a Certified Practitioner – Site Assessment and Management (CP SAM) under the Site Contamination Practitioners Australia (SCPA) Scheme.

Prior to joining the Hunter Councils team, Anna was a Principal Environmental Scientist with AECOM, mainly working with contaminated land audits. Anna has extensive experience in contaminated site assessments, remediation and management, ecotoxicology, water management, compliance monitoring of air and water, and project management.

Anna will work directly with Councils to review and improve their local contaminated land systems and processes.

Ian Turnbull – Regional Project Manager (Disaster Resilience)

Ian Turnbull has recently joined the Environment Division. As Regional Project Manager (Disaster Resilience), Ian will work with Councils across NSW to incorporate disaster preparedness into their Integrated Planning & Reporting Frameworks, and with Community Service Organisations in our Region to develop Business Continuity Plans to better prepare them for natural disasters.

Ian has been working in Local Government since 1997 in a range of environment, compliance, land use and integrated planning roles. He also has extensive experience with the Rural Fire Service as a 20 year volunteer and Bushfire Management Committee member. Having lived in Bellingen for 14 years Ian has experienced first hand the impacts of natural disasters on Council’s and their local communities.

Eva Twarkowski – Natural Resource Coordinator

Eva has over 20 years experience in restoration ecology, ecological assessments, natural resources management and weed & pest management.

Eva has worked in the Hunter Central and Lower North Coast region since 2008 and is responsible for the managing regional environmental projects with a focus on biodiversity conservation, rehabilitation & restoration works and community and landholder events. In addition Eva is also involved in reviewing and assessing development applications, completing Review of Environmental Factors and Vegetation Management Plans.

Eva has gained extensive knowledge of the local environment and vegetation communities based on extensive field work and the development and implementation of action plans & monitoring regimes for hundreds of restoration and rehabilitation sites across the region. More recently Eva is involved in weed and native species density mapping.

Eva has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology from the University of Technology, Sydney and is currently enrolled in a Certificate IV Spatial Information Services Course at National Environment Centre Riverina TAFE.


Ellen SaxonGIS Officer

Ellen has a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management and is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management at Newcastle University.

Ellen is a highly talented and intuitive GIS Officer and manages the Environment Division’s spatial data, produces mapping and modelling products, and undertakes spatial analysis. She is highly skilled in the areas of Data Management, Geographical Information Systems, Database Design, Spatial Analysis. Ellen is proficient in the Esri (ArcGIS) suite, MapInfo Professional, Zonation, GraphHab, Maxent, geodatabases, and MS Access.

In recent years, Ellen has played an integral role in the following projects: Regional Biodiversity Conservation Assessment, Agricultural Lands Mapping, Climate Change (Disaster Resilience and Coastal Hazard Assessments), Connectivity and vegetation mapping, Roadside environmental management and restoration and rehabilitation works.



Brooke WillmottExecutive Assistant

Brooke is a highly accomplished Executive Assistant and provides assistance to the Director and entire HCCREMS Team.

Brooke has over 6 years experience in administration, excelling in event organisation, MYOB purchasing system, desktop publishing (including InDesign & Microsoft Office Suite), liaising with member councils and clients, maintaining the HCCREMS website and providing support to the HCCREMS Directors Steering Committee.