Business Illawarra, the region’s peak business organisation, has outlined a focused set of funding priorities that will grow the Illawarra’s economy in its submission to the 2022-23 NSW pre-budget process

Six specific actions were recommended for inclusion in the state budget that would deliver major, job-boosting initiatives for the region that have been the subject of evidence-based advocacy by Business Illawarra.

Executive Director of Business Illawarra, Adam Zarth, said that following the successful campaign to secure funding to plan the Picton Road Motorway project, together with the complete funding of the Mount Ousley Interchange, funding for both needed to be brought forward in the state budget.

“We’ve outlined the six major projects and programs that are necessary for the Illawarra’s economic growth, and we are advocating to have them allocated funding in the budget,” said Mr Zarth.

“Alongside these road priorities, our research quantified the need for improved rail connectivity between the Illawarra and Western Sydney, and so we have advocated for the funding of a feasibility study and a business case for the South West Illawarra Rail Link, which includes land value uplift.”

“The immense opportunity inherent in Port Kembla’s designation as a hydrogen hub needs to be supported in the budget by the inclusion of funding for several NSW Hydrogen Strategy initiatives,” said Mr Zarth.

Business Illawarra’s recommended actions are:

  • Action 1: Funding for a detailed engineering feasibility study and business case, including land value uplift, for a South West Illawarra Rail Link to St Marys. 
  • Action 2: Additional funding and cashflow allocations to expedite detailed design and planning work for the Picton Road Motorway project (including interchanges) to ensure completion by 2025. 
  • Action 3: Substantial cashflow allocations to expedite construction on the fully funded Mount Ousley Interchange to allow for commencement on schedule in 2023. 
  • Action 4: Funding for the development of a business case for the Illawarra Sport and Entertainment Precinct including detailed market, financial feasibility, economic and constructability assessments.
  • Action 5: Funding to advance several NSW Hydrogen Strategy initiatives for the Illawarra, including but not limited to the provision of enabling infrastructure and a refuelling station network. 
  • Action 6: The continuation of the work of the NSW Productivity Commission in hybrid and remote working and its impact on Central Business Districts like those in the Illawarra, in order to inform the policy settings of relevant NSW Government agencies.