Projects to share in $100 million of infrastructure funds named

Illawarra aged care centres and the the University of Wollongong's iAccelerate Centre are among projects to receive a share of $100 million from the Illawarra infrastructure fund.

The 12 projects are expected to generate an extra 969 jobs in the region.

As reported in the Mercury today, about $22 million will be spent on the West Dapto access road link to unlock the West Dapto housing release.

West Dapto connected: bridge wins funding

Illawarra minister John Ajaka, who announced the successful projects at the University of Wollongong on Thursday morning, said the West Dapto access road will open the area to 17,000 new homes over the next 50 years.

‘‘The link between Flowers Road and Fairwater Drive [will make] the West Dapto area easier and more accessible to get to,’’ Mr Ajaka said.

‘‘The new link will also help to alleviate pressure on existing road infrastructure.’’

The Intersection of Fowlers Rd and the Princes Hwy in Dapto looking towards where the proposed bridge linking West Dapto and Horsley with Dapto will be constructed. Picture: ANTONY FIELD.

The University of Wollongong will receive $16.5 million towards completing its 20 million  state-of-the art ICT hub iAccelerate, which is to be built on the Innovation Campus. 

This project, which will establish technology business acceleration programs and provide space for 25 start-up companies, will create an estimated 500 direct jobs.

Kiama MP Gareth Ward welcomed the ‘shot in the arm’ for the economy that the fund would bring to Kiama and the region. 

‘‘The Restart Illawarra Fund will help make both the Warrigal Care aged care facility and the Kiama Hospital Aged Care Centre a reality,” Mr Ward said.

Warrigal Care’s new planned complex at Shellcove will receive $17 million in funding.

Mr Ward said this project will help to create 130 local jobs and will mean residents will soon have access to improved aged care services.

 ‘‘Similarly, the NSW Government’s $8 million contribution to the Kiama Hospital’s new Aged Care Centre will mean the $39 million new facility will be able to go ahead,’’ Mr Ward said.

Heathcote MP Lee Evans said the successful projects will help to improve services throughout Wollongong and the rest of the Illawarra, including bringing to life a new $14 million Centre of Excellence for Aged Care, which will see a major upgrade at Bulli Hospital.

‘‘Thanks to this project and the 60 new beds it will create we will be able to better cater for Illawarra’s ageing population, which is expected to grow by up to 30 per cent over the next ten years,’’ Mr Evans said. 

The project means there will be new medical imaging, pathology and pharmacy services available on site at Bulli Hospital.

Mr Ajaka said the projects selected for funding would drive economic growth and help make the Illawarra a better place to live, work and do business.

‘‘The successful projects will help to unlock the full potential of the Illawarra,’’ Mr Ajaka said.

‘‘These projects show the region has substantial tourism and human services potential.’’He said input from the Illawarra community has been critical throughout the process.

Illawarra infrastructure fund projects:

1. Kiama Council in partnership with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District: Kiama Hospital Aged Care Centre – $8million

2. Warrigal Care: aged care facility in Shellcove – $17 million

3. Noah's Ark Centre of Shoalhaven Early Intervention Family Support Centre: UoW Shoalhaven Campus – $1.43 million

4. Shoalhaven City Council, South Nowra Employment Precinct: Flinders Road Entrance Upgrade – $1.05 million

5. Wingecarribee Shire Council: Bowral Distributor Bypass Road – $7.5 million

6. Challenge Southern Highlands: construction of supported accommodation for the disabled in Mittagong – $900,000

7. Wollongong City Council: West Dapto access road link between Fowlers Road and Fairwater Drive including rail crossing and elevated bridges – $22.5 million

8. Wollongong City Council: Grand Pacific Walk Stage 1 – $5million

9. Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District: Centre of excellence for Aged Care Bulli Hospital – $14.46 million

10. University of Wollongong: iAccelerate – $16.5 million

11. Wollongong City Council: Bald Hills improvement project – $2.9 million

12. Illawarra Retirement Trust Limited: Kanahooka Community homes and centre, intellectual disability – $2.9 million

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