Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, told NSW Parliament last night that the Wollongong economy needed a budget boost as youth unemployment increases, consumer spending falls and business investment evaporates.
He said the upcoming November NSW Budget was a good opportunity for the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government to strategically invest in strengthening the productivity of the Illawarra economy in health, road and rail infrastructure, and tourism and hospitality industry.
“These modest proposals are put forward because in almost every budget under this Government, total spending in the Wollongong electorate has fallen”, he said.
Mr Scully’s modest proposals to boost Wollongong’s economy include:
- Using locally produced, high-quality Port Kembla steel in taxpayer funded infrastructure projects across the state, including new roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and renewable energy projects;
- Allocating funding and fast-tracking upgrades to the Unanderra Station and Towradgi Stations;
- Progressing the upgrade of the Wollongong Entertainment Centre, especially as it will host the international UCI Road World Championships in 2022;
- Upgrading Picton Road to dual carriage, motorway standard and progressing the Maldon-Dombarton rail project to link Port Kembla and south-west and western Sydney forever; and,
- Replacing the ageing Port Kembla Hospital with a new, modern purpose built health facility and refurbishing the existing ‘ghost ward’ at Wollongong Hospital adding another 35 beds to help cut waiting times in emergency and elective surgery.
Mr Scully acknowledged the recent announcement to build a new Shellharbour Hospital, which the Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard MP, recognised could not have been delivered without the support of the Illawarra’s Labor MPs, but said “…it’s a decision that comes five years after the same government tried to privatise the hospital, and five years before the new hospital opens. A decade will have come and gone before the new hospital sees a patient.”
“In the lead up to the NSW Budget in November it is important to remind the Government that the Wollongong economy needs support”, Mr Scully told Parliament.