Premier in the fast lane to Illawarra

Premier Mike Baird might be ahead in the latest polls, but next week he'll have to test his form on the racing track during his first visit to the Illawarra since he assumed the state's top job.

Shunning the usual sod-turning or ribbon-cutting events that so often attract politicians, Mr Baird will race against V8 supercar driver Jack Perkins as he officially opens the Australian-first C1 Speed Indoor Karting Complex.

The unusual engagement was instigated by Kiama MP Gareth Ward, who said the new Albion Park Rail business was an example of investment and youth employment opportunities.

"This business employs 60 people in a place that has high youth unemployment," he said.

"And I think that is a wonderful opportunity to show the Premier what business people are doing in our region."

Mr Baird's office did not comment on why he had chosen to visit a go-kart racing facility as part of his first Illawarra visit, but confirmed he had "a number of engagements" next Wednesday.

Likewise, Mr Ward would not reveal Mr Baird's other engagements, except to hint at some sort of "announcement" and say: "The Premier will be spending quality time in my electorate."

The visit will be confined to the Kiama electorate, with Mr Ward encouraging Labor MPs to contact the Premier's office if they wanted him to visit other areas of the region.

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