A monorail at Unanderra, a Belmore Basin ferry terminal and a $10 million plan to redevelop the Port Kembla stack into a tourist park were among 104 projects rejected for the Port Kembla lease funds.
The $100 million Illawarra Infrastructure fund attracted 124 expressions of interest and 20 projects were shortlisted to proceed to the public consultation round last month.
Yesterday, Infrastructure NSW revealed 55 of the projects not selected by the fund’s independent assessment panel.
The remaining 49 applicants did not consent to having their proposal publicly listed.
Among those that missed out were Unanderra engineering firm SOTO Services Group, which proposed to move the now-defunct Sydney monorail tracks from the CBD to Unanderra in an effort to link the town’s ailing railway station with the Nan Tien Temple and university.
The company’s chief operating officer Jim Allan said SOTO engineers never expected the idea to gain funding, but wanted to put forward a creative plan to make people think about the fund’s possibilities.
‘‘If the Sydney monorail was just going to be cut up for scrap, we thought it could be used to connect to the [Unanderra] railway station footbridge, which could be modified to accommodate a monorail station and wheelchair access,’’ Mr Allan said.
Among other creative ideas not selected to proceed to the next round of consultation was a $30million Belmore Basin ferry terminal and fisherman’s wharf, which was put forward by an entity named Sustainable Industries Development Institute.
The Cancer Council sought $1.6 million to establish an Illawarra Food Hub, while North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club wanted $10.3 million to knock down and rebuild its premises.
Crown Lands asked for $2.25 million for an Illawarra Maritime Tourism and Amenities Centre, however this was considered to have ‘‘lower public benefits’’ than the 20 shortlisted projects.
These included a $16.3 million multi-storey car park in Nowra and a $3.6 million pathway in Mittagong.
According to information published by Infrastructure NSW, most projects were culled because they ‘‘did not demonstrate improvement in public transport, roads, the economic competitiveness of the region, hospitals or other health services or workplaces for frontline staff for the region as a whole’’.
Others missed out because they contained insufficient information, did not own the assets they hoped to transform or were thought to demonstrate a lower economic benefit than other projects.
Notably absent from the list was a $28.04 million proposal from Venues NSW to transform WIN Entertainment Centre into a convention centre, and a rumoured statue of King Kong from an unconfirmed applicant.
Wollongong City Council had the best strike rate out of the five councils eligible to apply for the fund, with all three projects making it through to the shortlist.
Kiama council submitted four ideas of which two were chosen, Wingecarribee submitted eight ideas and had three chosen, while Shoalhaven City Council cast its net wide by asking for funding for 13 different projects. Only two of these went through to the next round.
Shellharbour council submitted five ideas, including a rejected $350 million proposal to upgrade the Princes Highway.