Councillors still in dark on Lake Illawarra Authority assets

Wollongong City Councillors will have to wait until next month to learn what Lake Illawarra Authority assets will be transferred to their council.

Last December, Shellharbour councillors unanimously backed the proposed structure of a new estuary management committee which would replace the LIA.

At the same time Wollongong councillors deferred making a decision, demanding a firmer financial commitment from the state government, meaning the management of Lake Illawarra remained in limbo.

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At their meeting, Shellharbour councillors were presented with a 10-page report outlining more than $900,000 worth of LIA lands and assets to be transferred to Shellharbour council.

However, the absence of a similar report for Wollongong councillors was one reason for a deferral.

Assets to be transferred to Shellharbour council included reclaimed land off Reddall Reserve - including the kiosk, Pelican View Reserve and reclaimed land off Ski Way Park.

Wollongong councillor Vicki Curran said she was "totally disappointed" Shellharbour councillors had received their report in December and Wollongong councillors were yet to receive theirs.

"For the council to make any decision in December would have been totally against our fiduciary responsibilities to the ratepayers - we would have no idea what our costs would be," Cr Curran said.

A Wollongong council spokesman said a report on the lands and assets to be transferred from the LIA would be before the council in April.

A Shellharbour council spokeswoman said her council had maintained areas around the lake on behalf of the LIA in the past, and would continue to under the proposed estuary management committee.

"As such, the contribution of council does not impact Shellharbour as dramatically as Wollongong council, which we understand requires more time to investigate the impact of the decision to disband the LIA," the spokeswoman said.

"Council has also written to the Minister for Trade and Development to request financial assistance to manage the lake."

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said while it might seem like her council was gaining assets, the cost of maintaining them was a liability.

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