Today Business Illawarra, the region’s peak business organisation, has outlined a focused set of funding priorities that will grow the Illawarra’s economy in a submission to the 2024-25 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 and have been the subject of evidence-based advocacy by Business Illawarra.

Executive Director of Business Illawarra, Adam Zarth, said that following successful advocacy campaigns, funding to deliver the Picton Road Motorway project and progress on delivering more social and affordable housing in the region were particularly important.

“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.

“The budget should include further funding for the planning and design of the Picton Road Motorway project and, as recommended in our affordable housing solutions report, more funding for social and affordable housing to start addressing the shortfall in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.”

“Our research on rail connectivity in the region has quantified the need for improved rail connectivity between the Illawarra and Western Sydney, and so we have advocated for a rail network resilience masterplan for the Illawarra which includes a business case for the South West Illawarra Rail Link.”

Business Illawarra’s recommended actions for the 2024-25 NSW Budget are:

  • Action 1: Commence the Southern Rail Network Resilience Plan (2023 election commitment), which includes an investigation of the South West Illawarra Rail Link proposal.
  • Action 2: Commit additional funding and cashflow allocations to expedite detailed design and planning work for the Picton Road Motorway project.
  • Actions 3.1 and 3.2: Identify key Government land for affordable housing supply in the Illawarra Shoalhaven with a timeline for delivery, and directly invest in meeting the backlog of 3,925 social housing dwellings in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.
  • Action 4: Provide enhanced support for clean energy projects in the region through the Illawarra Renewable Energy Zone (REZ).
  • Action 5: Allocate funds for the development of the Illawarra Sport and Entertainment Precinct (pending approval of the masterplan and business case).
  • Action 6: Work with Wollongong City Council to support an urban renewal program that includes developments around Wollongong Train Station and the Wollongong Health Precinct.

To view the full submission please visit: Illawarra Advocacy Services Submissions (

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