Residents of the Illawarra are being asked what they want to see in the region over the next two decades.
To help formulate planning for the region until 2031, NSW Planning has released the discussion paper, The Illawarra Over The Next 20 Years.
Out today, the paper aims to get the views of Illawarra residents on issues such as housing, jobs, transport and infrastructure before formulating the Illawarra Regional Growth Plan.
"We know that the community is best placed to tell us how the Illawarra should balance its growth to provide housing and jobs while protecting the environment," said NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard.
"Rather than make assumptions on what people need from their region over the next 20 years, we want to directly reflect the desires of Illawarra residents and businesses."
The discussion paper says the Illawarra Regional Growth Plan will guide future planning and investment decisions relating to housing, economic development and jobs, open space and transport.
Brett Whitworth, regional director for southern region for Planning NSW, said the plan would help local government and various state agencies ensure services and infrastructure were delivered where they were needed.
Mr Whitworth said the discussion paper was the first step in the planning process for the region.
"It's really about giving information and ideas to residents to encourage them to be involved and have their say," Mr Whitworth said.
"It's saying that we're starting this regional growth plan with no preconceived ideas or strategy.
"We want to encourage people to tell us what they think the strategy or the approach should be."
The discussion paper will be on exhibition until November 11. After that, NSW Planning aims to release the draft Illawarra Regional Growth Plan around February next year and the finalised report by the end of June.
People can see the discussion paper and voice their opinion by visiting the online forum.
People can also email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Illawarra Regional Growth Plan, Department of Planning and Infrastructure, PO Box 5475, Wollongong, NSW, 2520.