Restart fund: how Shellharbour, Kiama fared

South of Wollongong, there was a mixed reaction to the list of projects to receive a share of the $100 million Illawarra infrastructure fund.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said she was delighted Warrigal Care would get $17 million towards its aged-care facility at Shell Cove.

Cr Saliba said she was confident that a new facility for the aeromedical helicopter at Illawarra Regional Airport, which was also short-listed but missed out, would attract funds at a later date given the NSW government's earlier commitment to the project.

"The great thing about the Warrigal Care project is it creates job opportunities and provides much-needed aged-care beds for our ageing population," she said.

Meanwhile, Kiama council's plan to turn the Kiama Hospital site into a $40 million aged-care hub received a boost with its successful application, jointly prepared with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, for an $8 million grant.

Under the proposal, Kiama council would buy the site from the health service but the health service would retain its presence through a new or renovated facility.

The site would be used to build a new nursing home and hostel for the council's Blue Haven aged-care facility, replacing the Havilah Place nursing home and hostel, which will soon require significant upgrades to keep pace with changes in aged-care legislation.

Although Kiama council's other short-listed project for harbour improvement works missed out, Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler said urgency surrounding new legislation and the need to activate an additional 52 bed licences, made the hospital site the council's priority.

"This will create an extra 69 full-time jobs in staffing alone, which will have a multiplier effect for our local economy," Cr Petschler said.

Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash was disappointed the Shoalhaven received less that 3 per cent of the $100 million available, considering it had 25 per cent of the Illawarra region's population and the highest unemployment rate.

Two Shoalhaven projects were funded. The Noah's Ark Centre of Shoalhaven won $1.43 million for an early intervention family support centre at the University of Wollongong's Shoalhaven campus, while upgrading the Flinders Road entrance at South Nowra to improve access to the industrial precinct was granted $1.05 million.

The council's $16 million bid for a multi-deck car park in the Nowra CBD missed out.

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