The region’s peak business organisation, Business Illawarra, has welcomed the announcement that the NSW Government will progress a Health Precinct Strategy for Wollongong, made today by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully MP, and the Minister for Health, Ryan Park MP.

Business Illawarra has long-advocated for government-led precinct planning approaches to revitalise key areas of the Illawarra’s major cities and towns, mirroring the approach successfully used in Sydney and elsewhere.

Prior to the state election, Business Illawarra used a submission in support of Wollongong Private Hospital Emergency Expansion to highlight the need for action on the May 2021 Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan; specifically to:

‘Develop a Metro Wollongong health precinct strategy’, which commits DPE to work ‘…together with NSW Health, Transport for NSW, Council and other relevant stakeholders […] to transform the Health precinct […] into a nationally significant health precinct, supporting prosperity, and attracting private sector investment and business.’

Executive Director of Business Illawarra, Adam Zarth, said the business community would be pleased to see action on a precinct development approach to revitalising key parts of Wollongong, led by the NSW Government.

“For some time now, major precinct developments in the Illawarra, and in Wollongong particularly, have been largely led by the private sector; whether it be the $400 million WIN Grand proposal, the upgrade of the BlueScope steelworks, University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus, GPT Group’s Wollongong Central, NSW Ports Outer Harbour Expansion (stage 1) or Ramsay Healthcare’s Wollongong Private Hospital,” said Mr. Zarth.

“We’ve been calling for the government to lead similar, visionary redevelopments of their own major landholdings, including around what we call the Illawarra Sport and Entertainment Precinct, as well as at Wollongong Hospital and the area around the train station, so it is pleasing to see progress beginning today.”

“A vibrant, re-imagined health precinct for the city of Wollongong should see our world-class private health services, including the Wollongong Private Hospital, grow concurrently with new investments in public health services so that clinical expertise can be shared across both for the wellbeing of our community.”

“The business community looks forward to being involved through the consultation process being led by the government, with a view to completing a strategy in late 2024.”

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