The Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) is encouraging people to offer suggestions and comment on the NSW Government’s updated strategic blueprint for the region, which is on exhibition.

The draft Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 will guide planning and land use decisions during the next two decades and focuses on the key components of resilience, productivity, innovation, adaptability, and affordability.

The first of its kind in NSW when originally released in 2015, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan is also the first to undergo a five-year review to ensure the strategy is reflective of the changing needs of the communities it represents.

ISJO Chair Gordon Bradbery AM said the state government has worked closely with ISJO and the region’s four councils since 2015 to deliver the priorities of the regional plan.

“It is now time to reset those original priorities and ensure the Illawarra Shoalhaven continues to progress and prosper for the next 20 years,” he said.

“The collaboration between the NSW Government, the Wollongong, Shoalhaven, Shellharbour and Kiama councils, and other stakeholders has already delivered key initiatives aimed at building better places for our communities.

“These include the NSW South Coast Marine Tourism Strategy, valuing and protecting regional environmental assets including biodiversity corridors, riparian areas and Lake Illawarra storm water management, monitoring of land for housing and jobs, and a review and analysis of metro Wollongong precincts.

“We want to continue that collaboration as we plan for the future.”

Mr Bradbery said the updated regional plan also builds on the Local Strategic Planning Statements that each council delivered mid-year.

“It is crucial to align strategic planning at the regional level and this updated plan by and large does that. I also note that individual Councils have the opportunity to look at the draft plan in detail and engage in the consultation process which is being led by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment,” he said.

“This past year has been particularly tough for our region which has been battered by drought, bushfires and floods and continues to confront the enormous COVID-19 challenge.

“Now, more than ever, it’s crucial we have an updated plan to guide sustainable growth in our region.”

The draft updated regional plan builds on the existing plan in a number of ways, including:

• Strengthening Metro Wollongong as a connected, innovative and progressive city;
• Growing Nowra and Shellharbour City centres as regional cities;
• Developing a Green Grid network of connected open spaces;
• Building more resilient communities to cope with the changing climate and natural hazards.

To help the community have its say, the NSW Government has developed an interactive website where people can learn about key elements of the draft regional plan and provide feedback for the duration of the exhibition that closes on Thursday 17 December 2020.

Use the Google Chrome internet browser to access the site at:

The community is invited to participate in one of the following upcoming public webinars about the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan. The webinars contain the same content but take place at different times for convenience. Register by clicking on the links next to the session you would like to attend below: