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New fund an opportunity to transform Port Kembla community

Release Date: 21/03/2016
The Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement of the Port Kembla Community Investment Fund as an opportunity to transform the portside community.

“The new Community Investment Fund is a win for the people of Port Kembla and a win for the Illawarra region,” IBC Chief Executive Officer Debra Murphy said.

“Port Kembla is our industrial heartland, and this Fund will mean the benefits of the port go directly to the local community.

 “The IBC has long advocated for the NSW Government to support better, more creative use of the land surrounding Port Kembla, and we’re pleased they’ve listened.

“While the Port is a major source of jobs and activity for the Illawarra, the surrounding local community has felt the impacts of heavy industry.

“The Fund will help revitalise the Port Kembla neighbourhood and make it a vibrant place to live as well as work.

“The Fund may also help us forge new opportunities in tourism and grow the visitor economy.”

Ms Murphy said that it would be important to ensure the Fund prioritised projects that would support local businesses as well as improving amenity.

 “The Fund could, for example, provide an opportunity to activate the Main Street of Port Kembla and support the local retail and hospitality sectors.

“The key will be ensuring that the fund is directed at the right projects, at the right time and in partnership with industry.

 “More broadly, we need to move beyond short termism and toward a longer term vision for our region’s economic future.

“We hope this is the first step of many to bring growth, investment and better connectivity to Port Kembla and the Illawarra as a whole,” Ms Murphy concluded.

Janine Cullen OAM, Illawarra Regional Advisory Council President, also welcomed the creation of the Fund.

“I would like to congratulate Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward, on this exciting announcement.

“This is an initiative I have championed for some years, and I’m delighted the NSW Government has decided to act now to revitalise the Port Kembla community,” Ms Cullen concluded.

Media contact: Rebecca Burdick 0417 135 858 

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