ILLAWARRA LEFT BEHIND BY BAIRD GOVERNMENT

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The Illawarra has been left to fend for itself as the Baird Government’s infrastructure investment fails to move forward.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley today visited the region alongside MPs Ryan Park, Noreen Hay and Anna Watson to discuss Labor’s proposal for an Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Summit to develop a 10 year pipeline of infrastructure projects to help bolster the region’s economy.

Similarly, an Illawarra-Western Sydney Economic Development and Jobs Taskforce was also proposed to build a long-term partnership between the two regions.

The visit follows the tough decisions steelworkers have been forced to make during recent Enterprise Agreements by agreeing to a three-year wage freeze and the loss of 500 jobs in a desperate bid to help keep steelmaking alive in the Illawarra.

A slow and drawn out response to the steel industry and a lack of investment into infrastructure projects by the Government have put the Illawarra economy at risk.

Promises of investment through the Government’s Restart Illawarra Infrastructure Fund are yet to be met with only half of the twelve projects moving to pre-construction planning.

Residents are still waiting for key infrastructure projects like the $250 million upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and the $551 million Albion Park Rail Bypass, promised by the Government, to begin.

Quotes attributable to Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley

“The sacrifices made by the Illawarra’s steelworkers are enormous, yet the Baird Government hasn’t even committed to using Australian made steel on state infrastructure projects.”

“Despite making bold promises of infrastructure investment, the Government has left the people of the Illawarra waiting in limbo.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park

“The Illawarra deserves more than talk of investment. It needs action to help the economy kick start again.”

“The Government has been busy spruiking its infrastructure investment around the State but it hasn’t stepped up to move infrastructure projects to construction.”

 Quotes attributable to Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay

 “The Government needs to look beyond Sydney and start giving the Illawarra the attention it needs.”

 “The Illawarra and its residents deserve more than the Government’s half committed approach to investment.”

 Quotes attributable to Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson

 “The region is struggling yet the Government is nowhere to be seen. It has talked the talk about infrastructure and supporting jobs but it’s a long way away from walking the walk.”

 “The Government is a long way off the mark for hearing the resident’s concerns.”