Port fund recipients must buy local: Park

Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park wants the recipients of the Illawarra infrastructure fund to buy local.

In December Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka announced the successful projects that would gain a slice of the $100 million arising from the long-term lease of Port Kembla.

Of 20 shortlisted projects, 12 received some level of funding, including a bridge at West Dapto and aged-care facilities.

At the time of the announcement, Illawarra Business Chamber CEO Debra Murphy called on those running the projects to look to hire local workers, as well as use local contractors and suppliers.

Yesterday, Mr Park echoed those calls to keep as many jobs as possible in the Illawarra.

"This fund was specifically set up to support local jobs and I want to make sure those organisations receiving taxpayers' money for these projects understand that they have an obligation to at least give local tradespeople and suppliers a fair chance at benefiting from this fund," Mr Park said.

He said that this would help maximise the benefit of the $100 million "given the fact we were short-changed in comparison to the Hunter", which was promised $340 million.

Mr Park said he had asked Mr Ajaka to take action on the matter.

"I have written to the Minister for the Illawarra urging him to convene a business forum with proponents and local tradespeople and suppliers to ensure that they are aware of the details of the individual projects that have received funding," Mr Park said.

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