Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully MP, has today called on the NSW Government to appoint community representatives on the Project Steering Committee overseeing the development of the Wollongong Harbour master plan.
Tender documents released yesterday appear to indicate that the community will be frozen out of the Project Steering Committee, which will only comprise the Department of Industry, Wollongong City Council and Maritime Services.
This is despite the very same tender documents requiring the successful consultant report to the Project Steering Committee on the following matters:
- “Identify stakeholders for forums for the Engagement Program”
- “Design a stakeholder and Community Engagement Program”
- “Prepare Materials to support Stakeholder and Community Engagement Program”
- “Implement the Stakeholder and Community Engagement Program…”
- “Prepare Draft Master Plan”
- “Deliver the Master Plan.”
The tender documents suggest the process to prepare and deliver the master plan will take a “minimum of 36 weeks”.
The Department of Industry – Lands conducted a low-profile online consultation process as part of the NSW Regional Ports Strategy, which closed on the 28 February 2017. The outcome of the online consultation is not known.
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:
“An open and transparent process should be the priority from day one of decision-making around the future of Wollongong Harbour – from selecting the right consultant through to any physical changes to the precinct.
“I find it extraordinary that the NSW Government has established a master plan process where essentially its faceless bureaucrats are talking to themselves.
“The tender documents make clear that there needs to be “community engagement” but its own Project Steering Committee – the most important group in this whole process - does not include even one community representative.
“The future of Wollongong Harbour cannot be just left to a few faceless bureaucrats in the NSW Government and Wollongong City Council to determine.
“I’m dismayed that Councillor Gordon Bradbery, in particular, as the Lord Mayor, would accept and approve of the local community being frozen out of the Project Steering Committee overseeing this master plan of Wollongong Harbour.