Statement on splitting the Illawarra

19 August 2021

The Deputy Premier’s announcement today that Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas will be treated differently has created significant confusion and uncertainty for local residents.

This decision was made without any discussion or consultation with local Labor Members of Parliament representing the Wollongong local government area.


It makes no sense.


It creates substantial practical problems for residents living and working in both the Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.


The decision is not supported by the COVID case numbers with the number of positive cases and venues of concern in the Shellharbour local government area outnumbering those in Wollongong in recent weeks.


Questions that need to be immediately answered by the Berejiklian Government on how this division will work include:


  • Who will need a permit to move between Wollongong and Shellharbour?
  • When will permits be available?
  • How do you apply for a permit?
  • How do you get a permit if you do not have access to a computer?
  • How many police will be required to enforce the permit system?


Stopping every vehicle that travels between Wollongong and Shellharbour on a daily basis to check permits is going to cause disruptions and delays for little benefit and place an additional strain on already stretched Police resources.


Only people who have no understanding of how people in the Illawarra live and work could have arrived at this decision.


The Deputy Premier said today that moving the Queensland border further south just “moves the cliff” while doing exactly the same thing at Windang.


The only way for the Berejiklian Government to fix this mess of its own creation is to immediately include the Wollongong local government area in regional NSW.