Wollongong MP Noreen Hay has accused Premier Barry O'Farrell of "Sydney-centric money grabbing" over a decision to sell off buildings including an office block in the heart of Wollongong.
The state government plans to sell $300 million worth of government properties in cities including Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle to fund infrastructure to support new housing developments. The money would be invested in infrastructure such as roads and water supply, it said.
Ms Hay yesterday condemned the move and raised fears about the future of the State Office Block in Crown Street, Wollongong. Minister for the Illawarra Greg Pearce said the services would not be affected.
Mr Pearce controversially closed his Wollongong office last year, declaring it to be a "waste of money". The prime CBD office block still houses the Anti-Discrimination Board, offices of the Department of Attorney-General and Justice, the Department of Education, the Department of Family and Community Services, the Lake Illawarra Authority and others.
"I'm questioning whether those jobs and those services in there are going to be gone soon," Ms Hay said.
"I consider this government's actions since it's been elected to be completely Sydney-centric."
She also attacked the government over the planned privatisation of Port Kembla, the debacle surrounding lifts at Unanderra railway station, and funding cuts to health and education.
The government has pledged that $100 million of the expected $500 million windfall from the port privatisation will be spent in the region.
Ms Hay claimed the government had "no regard" for the people of Wollongong, labelling the decision to sell the Crown St offices as "another example of ... Sydney-centric money-grabbing tactics".
She also questioned whether suggestions that the building could be sold and leased back made economic sense.
Shellharbour MP Anna Watson echoed the criticisms, saying any proceeds should be pumped back into the Illawarra.
Nine "excess" properties have been listed for sale statewide.
The proceeds would be spent via the Housing Acceleration Fund.
Mr Pearce said money raised would "provide much needed housing for residents of NSW, including the Illawarra, and support economic growth".
Part of the $181 million allocated to the fund this year had been allocated to West Dapto, he said.