RDA Illawarra has partnered with Infrastructure Australia to develop the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report, which highlights opportunities in Transport (stimulated by expansion of Port Kembla); the Knowledge Economy; Advanced Manufacturing (including Renewable Energy) and Healthcare & Social Assistance (as our population lives longer and healthier lives) to support the regionalisation trend that took hold during the pandemic and is reshaping the Illawarra.

Consultation facilitated by RDA Illawarra found that stakeholders in the Illawarra consider

  • Freight and Commuter Connectivity
  • Housing
  • Public Transport

to be the most significant infrastructure gaps for the region.

With the debut of the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report, Infrastructure Australia aims to increase the focus on the needs of Regional Australia. It creates an evidence base of co-designed needs and identifies the assets available to be leveraged by industry, the community and government, to provide solutions.

Debra Murphy, CEO of RDA Illawarra commented, “This Report highlights the opportunities for the Illawarra in key growth industries. The challenge we face is in delivering the infrastructure that will enable us to take advantage of them – especially as many regions face similar deficiencies and we are competing for a share of finite public and private resources.”

In developing this report, Infrastructure Australia partnered with 48 Regional Development Australia (RDA’s) to conduct extensive consultation on community views. This was supported by engagement with key regional stakeholders, including businesses, peak bodies and industry groups, to help create a picture of each area’s diverse assets, growth industries and infrastructure requirements.

Published alongside an interactive map, the report is a starting point for discussion between all parties to inform further planning, policy and investment solutions.

Further community consultation is being encouraged, with submissions open until 29 April 2022.