A newly approved $250 million mixed-use development site in Tallawarra will aim to boost employment opportunities in Wollongong, according to a Wollongong City councillor.
The NSW Planning Commission approved plans this week for the 560-hectare development site. The area will include 40 hectares of commercial and industrial land and 16 hectares of retail development.
Wollongong City Councillor Ann Martin welcomed the plans saying the site will provide valuable employment opportunities for new and existing Illawarra residents.
“This will be extremely good for us,” Cr Martin said.
“The Illawarra has amongst the highest unemployment rate in Australia and as a council we feel it is important the Tallawarra development focuses on employment opportunities.”
Cr Martin said young families and working mothers were among those who would benefit from the development.
“This plan means we can keep jobs close to everybody so they don’t have to travel to work,” Cr Martin explained.
In a recent statement, the NSW Planning Commission said the overall plan aims to provide both immediate and long term employment benefits, as well as social and economic advantages for local government areas.
The statement explained the construction phase would create initial employment opportunities within the area, as well as assist in long term benefits. The statement further said that housing, commerce and employment opportunities in the region would improve as a direct result of the development.
“The Commission is of the opinion the benefit the employment lands provides for the region is a priority and should not be compromised by uses that could restrain their development potential,” the PAC said.
Ward 3 Councillor Bede Crasnich told The Illawarra Mercury the plans have the potential to change he demographic make-up of Dapto.
“It will mean more money coming into the area and more money being spent in the area too,” Cr Crasnich said.
Megan Stores, a previous resident of Figtree who recently moved back to Wollongong after living in Sydney, said new housing opportunities would provide an incentive for young families to relocate to the area.
“Wollongong is booming with great education systems and is the perfect place to bring up kids,” she said.
Cr Crasnich further said the Tallawarra site is among several new land developments planned for the coming decades and will contribute to a boom in the population of the Illawarra region.
However, Cr Crasnich expressed his concern for the initial land sales.
“The site will include great features like access wetlands, nature reserves and bikeways but in the early days developers will have the work hard to get people to settle in the area,” he said.
The Tallawarra development includes 1000 housing lots and 360 hectares of dedicated conservation land.
Video: HARRISON VESEY
Audio visual: SARAH NAVIN
Words: HANNAH SHIELDS