A new vision that protects the stunning, natural scenery of the Illawarra Shoalhaven hinterland while focusing homes and jobs in existing centres will promote prosperity for the region over the next 20 years.
The updated draft Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 includes a strategy for Metro Wollongong Health Precinct, a hydrogen hub at Port Kembla and earmarks West Lake, Nowra-Bomaderry, Bombo Quarry and existing centres for 30,000 new homes and more than 45,000 new jobs.
A green grid connecting parks, open spaces and bushland with cycleways and pedestrian pathways will make the region’s natural beauty more accessible to residents and visitors.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes called for the community to have their say on the plan which contains 30 objectives to guide land use over the next two decades.
“The Illawarra Shoalhaven region has transformed from its industrial and steel-making base into an innovative service, creative and knowledge-based economy,” Mr Stokes said.
“This plan is about building on that transformation while preserving the unique rural coastal character which has made the region such an attractive place for people to live, visit and do business.
“This updated draft plan identifies 15 regionally significant precincts, including West Lake Illawarra, South Nowra Employment Precinct, Metro Wollongong and Port Kembla that will drive job creation, housing diversity, and vibrant, green, liveable communities.”
Member for the South Coast Shelley Hancock said the plan proposed a new contributions scheme that would support better infrastructure and public spaces.
“A draft Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) has been established to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support the development of the region’s two priority growth areas of Nowra-Bomaderry and West Lake Illawarra,” Ms Hancock said.
“The SIC will ensure the community reaps the benefits of the region’s growth with developers contributing up to $121 million for important upgrades to roads, education and health facilities, emergency services, cycleway networks, public open spaces and biodiversity.”
Member for Kiama Gareth Ward said the Illawarra Shoalhaven is a dynamic and growing region that had seen its fair share of challenges.
“Throughout 2020 the Illawarra Shoalhaven community continues to confront one enormous challenge after another – from drought, bushfires and floods, to COVID-19 – but our community is proving we are more than up to the challenge,” Mr Ward said.
“This plan protects our village lifestyle, promotes sensible and sustainable growth, and job opportunities that are vital for the future of our region.”