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SCULLY TELLS TREASURER TO INVEST IN WOLLONGONG IN PRE-BUDGET SUBMISSION

April 02, 2018

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, has told the Treasurer to stop ignoring Wollongong – the third largest city in New South Wales – and to start investing in the infrastructure the city needs to build on its strengths in a pre-budget submission.

 

Mr Scully highlighted the views of Infrastructure NSW in its recently released report, State Infrastructure Strategy 2018-2038:

 

Infrastructure NSW recognises the need to invest in the …Illawarra-Shoalhaven as stand alone, self-contained administrative and business centres, and to support the increasingly important connectivity between the Illawarra-Shoalhaven and south-western Sydney (p.125).

 

The Berejikilan Government has made a deliberate decision to classify the Wollongong local government area as ‘metropolitan’, which has locked the area out of eligibility for funding under the Government’s Regional Growth Fund, or a benefit expected from its $2.7 billion Sydney stadia splurge.

 

In addition, the Government has been unable to identify any benefit to Wollongong from the $20 billion sale of the NSW electricity ‘poles and wires’.

 

Mr Scully’s pre-budget submission (attached) focuses on infrastructure projects and the relocation of 200 jobs in Liquor and Gaming NSW to Wollongong from the Sydney CBD:

 

  • $25 million to upgrade Unanderra Station, including the installation of lifts.
  • $50 million to support construction of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link in a joint public-private partnership connecting the Port of Port Kembla with Australia’s third largest economy in Sydney’s south-west.
  • $50 million to upgrade the Appin Road, a key road freight and commuter corridor from Wollongong to Sydney’s south-west.
  • $40 million to construct an interchange at Springhill and Masters Road ensuring a continuous flow of traffic movement into and out of Wollongong CBD, BlueScope Steel, Port Kembla Harbour and Wollongong’s southern suburbs.
  • $50 million to upgrade the WIN Entertainment Centre delivering more than 280 jobs and attracting  40,000 visitors to Wollongong every year to support tourism jobs in local hotels, restaurants and the hospitality industry.
  • $5 million to upgrade the Mt Keira Summit Park on the best natural viewing platform in Wollongong.
  • $5 million to build an iMake Maker Space at the University of Wollongong Innovation Campus specialising in 3D printers, design software, laser cutters reducing the technology barriers for Wollongong’s small businesses.

 

All of these initiatives have been pledged by NSW Labor in its $225 million Illawarra Jobs Action Plan announced during the Wollongong by-election.

 

Mr Scully has again invited the Treasurer to make his first-ever visit to Wollongong as Treasurer and, if his invitation was accepted, indicated he would arrange a range of meetings with regional stakeholders so the Treasurer could understand the real infrastructure needs of Wollongong and the Illawarra region as he prepared the 2018-19 NSW Budget.

 

The NSW Budget is scheduled to be handed down in June 2018.

 

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

 

“The Berejiklian Government has one final opportunity in the June Budget to show that it takes Wollongong – as the third largest city in New South Wales – seriously.

 

“It hasn’t done that over the last seven years preferring instead to play a bureaucratic game of hokey-pokey, which has us in and out of eligibility from some important funding program opportunities – but mostly excludes us.

 

“The Premier has said publicly that she wants every part of the NSW to share in the prosperity of the state.

 

“Over the last seven years of the Liberal-Nationals Party Government we have simply been excluded and ignored.

 

“I have invited the Treasurer to visit Wollongong for the first time ever as Treasurer to meet with stakeholders so he can gain a better understanding of what infrastructure projects will help Wollongong build on its strengths.

 

“I hope he will accept my invitation and also takes on board the very clear message of Infrastructure NSW, which has plainly advised the Government that Wollongong needs investment as a ‘stand alone’ administrative and business centre.

 

“This is very clear, strong advice from a key agency of the Government and both the Premier and Treasurer should heed that advice as they frame the budget for this year.

 

“NSW Labor has a $225 million jobs and infrastructure plan for Wollongong and Illawarra which builds on our strengths and links our future to the enormous growth in south-western Sydney.

 

“It’s time for the Berejiklian Government to match our funding commitments in this year’s budget.”

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