The Baird Government’s announcement of a $4 billion budget surplus and a $1.5 billion infrastructure spend in Sydney once again leaves the Illawarra high and dry.
The Government’s mid-year economic update reports a higher than expected surplus but also announces a multi-billion dollar stimulus package to support the NSW economy in the face of a slowing national economy.
Unfortunately the proposed $1.5 billion infrastructure package contains very little for the Illawarra.
Recent reports show that economic growth in the Illawarra has flat lined in the last year and unemployment in the Illawarra remains stubbornly high.
Infrastructure priorities for Wollongong that should be considered for inclusion in the Government’s infrastructure package include:
- Construction of lifts at Unanderra station
- Upgrade of the WIN Entertainment Centre
- Road and rail connections with south western Sydney and Badgery’s Creek airport including Appin Road, Masters Road interchange and the Maldon-Dombarton rail link
- Construction of a prototyping and development facility on the Innovation Campus.
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“The Baird Government’s economic update includes a multi-billion infrastructure spend but still nothing for the lifts at Unanderra station or other Wollongong infrastructure projects.
“Once again the Sydney-centric Baird Government has ignored the needs of the Illawarra and ignored the needs of the thousands of people who would benefit from improving local infrastructure such as Unanderra station or the entertainment centre.
“If the Baird Government really wants to transform the state it could start by helping transform Unanderra station into one that is accessible for everyone.
“At the very least, the Government should guarantee that at least 90 per cent of the steel used in its infrastructure package is sourced from Port Kembla so that the Illawarra might benefit from this spending.”