RDA Illawarra is an independent organisation.  We are neutral brokers who advocate across all levels of government for the growth of the Illawarra's economy.

We take a long-term perspective and advocate strategically for the future greater good of the Illawarra region.  We value our people, culture and sustainable development.

We advocate either directly, when commercial or other sensitivities are involved, or publicly through submissions and direct advocacy.

Submissions are made on most matters of economic significance to the Illawarra region.  Our submissions are listed below.

Relocation of Government Bodies to Regional Australia

The submission explains that the relocation of government administration bodies to regional areas over time can provide substantial cost savings for government and improve labour force participation and unemployment in regional centres.

It also highlighted the importance for the Committee of Inquiry to appreciate the transformation taking place in the Illawarra as it transitions from a predominately manufacturing economy to a diverse economy built on knowledge services, advanced manufacturing, trade and logistics and an increasing defence sector capability. Education and health remain significant sectors for employment growth.

The decentralisation of federal or state government administration to the Illawarra region should be considered as it would provide a win-win to the Illawarra's transformed economy as well as providing cost-effective solutions to government.

Australian Infrastructure Audit

Australian Infrastructure Audit

The response to the Australian Infrastructure Audit Report identifies some key infrastructure issues facing the Illawarra within the broader Australian context.

Identifying and responding to the needs of regional communities is a priority of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) network. RDA Illawarra and the Illawarra Business Chamber collaborated closely on a number of regionally important economic development issues.

The submission highlights some of the unique infrastructure challenges of the Illawarra region and linkages with broader regional, metropolitan and national infrastructure issues to try to ensure that consideration is given, through the development of the Plan, as to how best address these issues, not only for the Illawarra, but other regions at large.

The Case for Relocation of Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East to the Port of Port Kembla

The Case for Relocation of Royal Australian Navy Fleet Base East to the Port of Port Kembla

The submission was drawn together by RDA Illawarra. The contributed submissions from Illawarra regional stakeholders (Illawarra Consortia) is supplementary to the submission by Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (October 2014) to the Defence White Paper.

In sum, key advantages to Defence of a relocation of operations to Port Kembla include:

  • 24/7 maintenance capability
  • Deep water Port, with 14 to 16 metres depth
  • Significant Port Lands currently available or underutilized and structural adjustments to the manufacturing industry creating additional growth opportunities
  • Strategic east coast location
  • Ease of access and logistics / operational connectivity to and from Port Kembla
  • Housing affordability and livability
  • Access to highly skilled workforce and spousal employment opportunities
  • Access to world-class tertiary education facilities and R&D capabilities


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