A convention centre, hotel and redevelopment of entertainment venues in Wollongong are all part of the Illawarra Business Chambers' bold recommendations for the region.
The chamber has called on Wollongong City Council to deliver an entertainment precinct master plan and establish a major projects unit in its submission to the draft economic development strategy.
Executive director Adam Zarth said the council's strategy for growth should be accompanied by bold actions.
"We have proposed that council lead the development of an Entertainment Precinct Master Plan to examine redevelopment opportunities for the area comprising the Wollongong Entertainment Centre, WIN Stadium, Illawarra Performing Arts Centre and broad surrounds," he said.
"Council should consider an all-encompassing public-private partnership, which could deliver a modern convention centre and conferencing facility, a much-needed hotel and an appropriate mix of residential and commercial developments as part of an integrated precinct that incorporates the existing entertainment assets."
Mr Zarth said council played a vital role in attracting businesses to the region and ensuring that investment was not lost through "overzealous regulation and burdensome approval processes".
"We have recommended that council establish a major projects unit to expedite development applications for significant commercial and industrial developments and implement processing times of less than six months," he said.
Mr Zarth said council should be commended for its "honest assessment" of the city's economic challenges; mainly a jobs deficit, and a lack of A-grade commercial real estate and available industrial employment lands.
"In response, council is committing itself to an interventionist approach to economic development which includes setting a jobs target of 10,500 new jobs and targeting high-paying sectors that offer permanent full-time roles," he said.
"I look forward to working closely with council in advancing the economic cause of Wollongong and the broader region, and this strategy gives us a strong blueprint to work to."
The chamber's other recommendations included council connecting under-developed employment lands to sewerage to attract development and revise the Local Environmental plan to protect commercial core from increased encroachment.
It also suggests council consider opportunities to leverage the expected growth of the health care and social assistance sector, advocate for key infrastructure priorities and support the revitalisation of Port Kembla.