Today the Illawarra Business Chamber has welcomed the NSW Government’s changes to the $100 million Port Kembla Community Investment Fund (PKCIF), which will see the funding pool for round three increased from $1 million to $4 million and an increase in the maximum grant size from $500,000 to $2 million.
The existing guidelines for PKCIF funding saw proposals restricted to a maximum of $500,000 out of an annual pool of just $1 million per year for the next 96 years, which the Illawarra Business Chamber had described as insufficient to drive Port Kembla’s economic growth.
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Adam Zarth, said today’s changes were consistent with those the chamber had previously
“Our advice to the government was that the Fund needed to be expanded in terms of both its total envelope and the maximum grant size. These changes will ensure the economic benefits from projects funded round three will now be realised in a much shorter timeframe,” said Mr Zarth.
“We’re pleased that our advocacy on behalf of the business community has been effective, and look forward to seeing larger projects of greater economic significance that will continue to drive Port Kembla’s transformation.”
“Round three of PKCIF commences today and presents a huge opportunity for the development of Port Kembla’s retail and tourism precincts in particular, which in turn will provide long-term sustainable employment opportunities as well as the enhancement of community amenity.”
President of the Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Melinda Shobrook, also welcomed today’s announcement, pointing to the importance of community consultation.
“It is important that this funding see a real and tangible benefit, and these changes are a good step towards addressing concerns raised by the Port Kembla business community. The Chamber is committed to working strategically on the rejuvenation of Port,” said Ms Shobrook.
“The Port Kembla community will benefit from more significant investments that can drive an uplift in visitation and tourism, as well as improvements to our central business district on Wentworth Street, that will enhance the daily experience of locals.”
James Newton 0417 135 858