450 jobs for the Hunter as coal mine transforms into motor park and tourist resort


Rhonda Colliery mine will be transformed into a motor park and multi-tourism hotspot, following final stages of rehabilitation.

Once completed this will be Australia’s first dedicated recreation resort park for motoring enthusiasts, creating more than 450 jobs during construction and 229 permanent roles.

It is set to draw national and international attention to Lake Macquarie for its world-class high-speed circuit, driver training academy, Go Kart precinct and motoring resort facilities.

Mining is a temporary use of land and the NSW Government is committed to exploring new opportunities for post-mine land use which promotes new industries and encourages economic diversification.

With the relinquishment of the mining lease now being undertaken, handover to the Black Rock Motor Resort will soon take place.

Once operational, the Black Rock Motor Resort will feature:

  • a world-class 5.25km driving circuit, designed by global F1 track design leader, Tilke Group
  • a driver training centre
  • go-kart racing
  • adventure-tourism experiences
  • a function centre
  • a short-term accommodation centre
  • a café.

The Rhondda Colliery rehabilitation has been facilitated under NSW’s robust and comprehensive framework for mine rehabilitation. It enables the repurposing of former mining land to ensure it can continue to be used in productive ways that support communities, while ensuring residual risks from mining are actively managed with any new site development.

There are a number of other major projects in NSW currently being considered for post-mine land use, including as renewable energy hubs and for pumped hydro. These sites include Idemitsu’s Muswellbrook coal mine and Yancoal’s Stratford mine near Gloucester.

Rhondda Colliery commenced underground and open-cut mining activities in the late 1800s before ceasing operations in 1971.

The NSW Government is in the process of establishing regional Future Jobs and Investment Authorities to grow future jobs and industries in coal-producing regions.

Once set up, the four authorities in the Hunter, Central West, Illawarra and North West will work across government to identify solutions tailored to each region’s needs.

For more information on the rehabilitation works at Rhondda Colliery.

Minister for Natural Resources Courtney Houssos said:

“With hundreds of new jobs and tens of millions of dollars of economic activity, this project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

“This project is an example of the convening power of government, as we bring together communities, councils and private enterprise to create hundreds of jobs and new opportunities for the region.

“Mining has long been a source of economic prosperity for NSW. As mines close, the government is committed to ensuring sites are rehabilitated safely, and the land put to new and productive use for the local community.

Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said:

“We know motorsport lovers will travel and spend their money when they know they’re getting the best.

“It’s fantastic to see Lake Macquarie step up and offer locals and visitors from across the country and overseas the best in motorsport and tourism.

We hear constantly about the need for tourism opportunities and adaptive reuse of rehabilitated mines. This is a smart, exciting example of both.”

Mayor of Lake Macquarie Council, Kay Fraser said:

“Black Rock Motor Resort demonstrates how we are laying the foundation in Lake Macquarie to embrace innovation, grow our economy and attract new investment.

“It is a pioneering example of adaptive reuse of mining land to support our economy into the future and provides a pathway for the transformation of other former mining and industrial sites.

“This project will see Lake Macquarie become home to Australia’s first dedicated recreation resort for motoring enthusiasts, providing an exciting new international tourism attraction for the city, region and state of NSW.

“Black Rock will support hundreds of jobs during construction and once operational, bringing in tens of millions of dollars each year in economic benefit to our region.”

Black Rock Motor Resort CEO and founder Tony Palmer said”

“Black Rock Motor Resort is proud to be pioneering the adaptive re-use of a former coal mine into an exciting, world-class adventure tourism destination.

“Black Rock Motor Resort will provide a range of motoring experiences including driver safety training for the young motorists of the region as well as exciting opportunities for the public to drive their own cars, or our cars, on the high-speed circuit.

“I’d like to thank the NSW Government and Lake Macquarie City Council for supporting the vision to transform rehabilitated mining land into a valuable asset for the Lake Macquarie region and NSW.”

Yancoal CEO David Moult, said:

“I am extremely pleased with this outcome at Rhondda. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone, relinquishing formerly mined land after an extensive and successful rehabilitation program.

“Yancoal wishes the new owners every success in realising their motor sport complex vision.

“Yancoal recognises that land rehabilitation and relinquishment is an important part of responsible mining. Ensuring that land can continue to be an asset for the benefit of local communities after mining has concluded will continue to be a key aspiration for Yancoal into the future.”

/Public Release. View in full here.