The Illawarra Business Chamber has today reiterated its call for the Illawarra to be designated a Regional Economic Centre by the NSW Government in order to ensure that the state’s third largest economy is not left in the cold when it comes to accessing government infrastructure funding programs.

The Illawarra Business Chamber has today reiterated its call for the Illawarra to be designated a Regional Economic Centre by the NSW Government in order to ensure that the state’s third largest economy is not left in the cold when it comes to accessing government infrastructure funding programs.
 
The Budget papers include a regional overview for the Illawarra Shoalhaven that this year has specifically excluded Wollongong, which has further served to highlight how our regional capital will be forced to compete against Greater Sydney for access to vital infrastructure funding. 
 
These funds include the ‘Restart NSW’ fund, comprising the proceeds of the lease of the state’s electricity assets, as well as the proceeds of the sale of the state’s share in the Snowy Hydro scheme, which has been earmarked for regional NSW.
 
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director Adam Zarth said that action was required to end the exclusion of parts of the Illawarra from vital state infrastructure funding, because the rest of the state economy relies on it.
 
“We have previously called for recognition of the Illawarra as a Regional Economic Centre by the government, because whether you are a grain farmer in Young or a car dealer in Parramatta, you rely on our road and rail network to do business,” he said.
 
“Wollongong is in definitional ‘no man’s land’ right now, but the Illawarra’s $25 billion economy cannot be allowed to backslide in terms of its transport connectivity.”
 
“Opening the doors to state investment in the Illawarra, not excluding Wollongong, as a Regional Economic Centre is necessary. Dedicated funding for the region as a whole should be prioritised given the substantial flow on benefits for the state, community and business.”
 
ENDS
 
Media Contact:  James Newton (02) 4229 4722

Media Contact:

Adam Zarth Executive Director, Illawarra Business Chamber T: 02 4223 0302M: 0404 146 829