Science broadcaster and ‘‘sleek geek’’ Dr Karl Kruszelnicki will share his thoughts on the Illawarra’s future at a Department of Planning and Infrastructure forum this week.
Dr Karl will be one of two keynote speakers at Talkabout: Your future Illawarra, to be held at the University of Wollongong on Friday.
The second keynote speaker is Mark McCrindle, a social researcher who is internationally renowned for tracking global changes and analysing social trends.
The event is part of the department’s consultation campaign to accompany the release of its discussion paper The Illawarra over the next 20 years.
An Illawarra native, Dr Karl grew up and was schooled in the area.
‘‘It is very true that knowing the lessons of the past is the key to understanding the future,’’ Dr Karl said.
‘‘On the other hand, as the Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr said, ‘It’s very difficult to make predictions – especially about the future’.’’
Mr McCrindle will be discussing how the demographics of the region will change and the consequent implications for housing and infrastructure.
The Illawarra discussion paper focuses on some of the challenges facing the region and seeks the community’s views on how to secure more housing; provide jobs in emerging knowledge and service industries and support the growth of the key centres of Wollongong, Warrawong, Kiama, Dapto and Shellharbour City Centre.
The event will take place Friday from 6 to 9pm.
After the presentations, the audience will be able to ask questions and discuss planning issues.
The event is hosted by the department and admission is free. To register visit the NSW Planning and Infrastructure website.