Telecommute hub planned for Illawarra

Labor is committing to a shared office space for Illawarra workers. File image.
Labor is committing to a shared office space for Illawarra workers. File image.

Keira MP Ryan Park has pledged to fund a telecommuting centre in the Illawarra should the Labor Party win the next election.

The project would give people office space in a dedicated facility within the region so they could work remotely rather than commute to Sydney every day.

The NSW government has started a Smart Work Hubs program at five locations across the state.

Mr Park said the Labor version would be called Work Link Centres and was driven by the fact that the Illawarra was not one of the five sites chosen by the state government.

The government sites are Penrith, Rouse Hill, Oran Park, Gosford and Wyong.

He said a centre in the Illawarra was a way to drive local regional economic development and reduce the strain of the daily commute.

"It is important to recognise that there is a significant proportion of the population living in the Illawarra. However, workers are often forced to commute to Sydney daily for their employment," Mr Park said.

"There are great social benefits for those employees who have young families at home and this is an excellent opportunity to commute fewer days per week."

He said the centres allowed people to use them on an as-needed basis, occupying spaces on an hourly basis rather than taking out a long-term lease.

"These facilities have emerged internationally for a number of years and is a reflection of the way society is changing its views of workplaces," Mr Park said.

"This initiative is important for our region.

"I am not going to wait around for business or government departments to be relocated here. We have facilities, we have the IT infrastructure and we certainly have the people who spend too long commuting each and every day. There is no reason why they can't spend some time working from the Illawarra."