Port Kembla could get an extra funding boost for footpaths, cycleways, signage and outdoor cafes this year, after Wollongong councillors signed off on a 25 year plan for the industrial suburb.
At Monday’s council meeting, councillors voted unanimously to adopt a Port Kembla 2505 Revitalisation Plan, setting out a vision to make is a safe and welcoming place which celebrates its heritage and creativity.
At the request of Labor councillor Vicky King they also supported revising the budget for the next financial year to see if it is possible to free up cash for new signage, footpath cafes, car parking and shared paths.
Cr King said the fast-tracked money was necessary and reflect priorities raised by Port Kembla residents and small business operators
“There is no point encouraging people to shop, stay and experience all that Port Kembla has to offer if they cannot find their way around because of a lack of decent signage,” she said.
The revitalisation plan covers all of the 2505 post code, except for Port Kembla Harbour and the port land.
Priorities include tourism to drive growth, urban greening to improve the amenity of the town’s streets and boosting the environmental credentials of the town by banning plastic bags.
Housing is also a focus, with the council saying the Port Kembla population would only grow by 100 by 2036 using current projections. However it flagged plans to investigate possibilities for housing growth.
The plan notes that the town centre is “very large” and could support a population triple the size of Port Kembla, but that this is “not currently a strategic direction for population growth”.
Staff said medium density homes like town houses and “shop top” housing could be used to add residents into the town centre.
Additionally, the old Port Kembla school site – where up to 110 medium density homes are proposed – would provide extra housing for the town centre, the council said.
Councillors also voted to forward a rezoning proposal to allow homes to be built at the old school to the NSW Government.