Regrowth Kurri Kurri

These web pages provide information to the community about Hydro’s Kurri Kurri site, and plans for its future.

Kurri Kurri

The Kurri Kurri smelter started production in 1969 but traces its history back to 1936. Production at the site ceased in September 2012 and the smelter is now formally closed. Since the closure, Hydro has been planning for its demolition, remediation of the site, and redevelopment of the site – which is now underway.
The smelter was a significant employer in the region and part of the local culture and identity of Kurri Kurri, so Hydro aims to create a positive legacy for the site by preparing the land for industrial, business, and residential development; and by securing the conservation of a large proportion of the land. The following video provides a project summary and outlines the future plans for the site.

Project status

Early works – UNDERWAY

This is the low impact clean-up work that can be done without any approvals. This is prior to demolition work and is well underway.


Development consent was granted by Cessnock City Council on 15 March 2016.

This includes demolition of the majority of site buildings and structures, excluding structures such as stacks, buildings with a potential for reuse, buildings storing waste materials, and below-ground infrastructure.

Stage 2 demolition and remediation – UNDER ASSESSMENT

This includes the demolition of the tall stacks, removal of below-ground infrastructure, excavation of contaminated soils and the on-site containment of these, along with non-recyclable waste material. These works are considered to be a state significant development and require an environmental impact statement (EIS). This EIS is currently on exhibition for public feedback until 12 September 2016. Following this, Hydro will prepare a submissions report which addresses all submissions and then the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E) will assess the project application.

View the EIS


The site covers around 1900 hectares and is predominantly zoned as rural land. Hydro has applied to rezone around 215 hectares for employment activities, around 180 hectares for residential development, and around 1250 hectares for conservation purposes. The remaining 235 hectares would remain as rural land.

The rezoning proposals were endorsed by both Cessnock City Council and Maitland City Council in 2015 and received Gateway approval on 23 March (with conditions) from the DP&E under Section 56 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. One of the conditions was that our application for biodiversity certification related to the rezoning proposals must be resolved prior to a final decision. This certification is also currently under assessment.

For more information on each of these plans, please see the Rezoning or Demolition and remediation pages or download our fact sheets.

Updated: May 4, 2018