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.

Defence Industry in NSW

RDA Illawarra made a submission to the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on State Development. The submission concludes that the Illawarra is well positioned as a capable and smart region to support the NSW Government’s strategy to increase Defence investment in NSW and grow our market share of Defence spending. The Illawarra Defence Industry Ecosystem is strong and highly developed skills are extant in the region.

The submission outlines four recommendations, including:

  • Strategies to maximize the use of Australian Steel in Defence procurement
  • Leveraging the capability and Illawarra regional competitiveness for Defence opportunities
  • Strengthening linkages to smart and capable regions, such as the Illawarra
  • Ways to secure and grow Defence innovation and regional economic potential

Regional Development and A Global Sydney: Illawarra Connectivity

In the submission to the NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on State Development, it identifies ways in which the growing prominence of Sydney as a global city enhances regional development and provides opportunities for greater connectivity with the Illawarra region. It demonstrates how taking a holistic city region approach will not only support the growth of the Illawarra, but more importantly mitigate the growing pains of Sydney and maximise the economic outcomes for NSW.

Regional capitals, such as Wollongong, should be embraced for the opportunities they provide to support global Sydney’s growth through a combination of:

  • Enhanced transport connectivity and integration with Sydney
  • Recognition of the economic contribution and human capital of the region
  • Commitment to ‘city region’ strategic direction and long term planning.

Inquiry into the Procurement of Government Infrastructure

The submission outlines that RDA Illawarra has been a strong advocate for social and regional procurement and believes that securing optimal value from public works is a sensible approach to returning social and economic dividends to NSW and its regions.

The submission highlights that the NSW Government can play a lead role in stimulating regional economies such as the Illawarra by setting baseline criteria for government tenders such as the use of local employment, equitable access for disadvantaged job seekers, percentage of locally sourced product and other indices of regional preferment.


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