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Investing in the Illawarra will power growth of NSW

Release Date: 15/11/2016

The announced $10 billion investment by the NSW Government in a metro rail line, linking Parramatta to the Sydney CBD is a visionary decision recognising the need for improved transport connections as advocated by the NSW Business Chamber and Western Sydney First.

It is important that similar commitments also be made in regional NSW. Population growth in regional centres is outpacing the national average, and in just 10 years there will be an additional one million people living in regional centres across the nation. Regional centres generate some 15 per cent ($210 billion) of Australia's economic activity every year.

Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Chris Lamont, said the recycling of government assets presented a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest in the future of NSW. This future will increasingly rely on our regional centres to power the growth of the state and the nation,” Chris Lamont.

“Infrastructure projects such as the New Metro West Railway unite communities and provide a lasting economic legacy as well dealing with a sluggish national economy. Investment to improve transport infrastructure between the Illawarra and Sydney would assist in the relocation of government and business activities that are no longer cost effective in urban centres. The relocation of these activities and functions will support long term employment and sustain economic activity,” said Chris Lamont.

“Now that the NSW Government has the budget back in the black, there is an even greater opportunity to invest in infrastructure, communities and regions to provide lasting economic and social benefits. This investment must extend beyond the city gates of Sydney and harness the potential of regional NSW,” said Chris Lamont.

The Illawarra Business Chamber and Illawarra First are urging the NSW Government to look at the capacity of the Illawarra to support major urban centres. Later this month Illawarra First, Parliamentary Secretary Gareth Ward and Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park will discuss opportunities for the Illawarra from the significant growth and investment in Western Sydney.

“The Illawarra offers a range of competitive advantages that can support business growth in NSW and assist governments in providing more effective and efficient services. Through investing in regions like the Illawarra there is an opportunity to reduce the cost of living across the state, provide improved housing affordability, reduce congestion and build regional economies,” said Chris Lamont.

Media Contact: Katherine Baker 0417 135 858

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