Wollongong and Shellharbour will not get a cut of the more than $4 billion regional NSW has coming to it for infrastructure after NSW agreed to transfer its share of Snowy Hydro to the Commonwealth.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian vowed to spend the money outside the cities.
‘’This will create an investment bonanza in regional NSW with every cent of the proceeds going to rural and regional NSW,” she said.
“Not only have we unlocked billions for infrastructure in the regions, but it paves the way for the nation-building Snowy 2.0 project.”
But information provided by the office of Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro shows Wollongong and Shellharbour are not included in the ABS data the government uses to determine regional areas.
Kiama though is classed as regional and will benefit, after the federal government reached an agreement to buy the stakes held by NSW and Victoria in the Snowy Hydro project for $6 billion.
The agreement allows the Turnbull government to proceed with its $4.5 billion plan to expand Snowy Hydro to benefit the east coast electricity grid.
We are sick and tired of missing out on accessing important funds that can be used to upgrade schools and hospitals as well as major transport and road initiatives.Ryan Park
But Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park said this was another “kick in the guts” for the region by an “out of touch NSW Liberal Government”.
“When will they realise that Illawarra is a regional city, not a southern suburb of Sydney,’ Mr Park said.
“We are sick and tired of missing out on accessing important funds that can be used to upgrade schools and hospitals as well as major transport and road initiatives.
“NSW Labor has already committed that the Illawarra would be included under our classification should we be elected in March next year.
“It is time Gareth Ward starts to earn his salary and explain exactly why the Illawarra, an area he himself has described as a ‘region’ has been snubbed by his Government once again.”
Read more: $6b Snowy Hydro windfall for NSW, Vic
Mr Ward, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra, told the Mercury he intended to meet with the [Mr Barilaro] deputy premier this week to discuss the matter.