There are fears Wollongong's bid to lure Sculpture by the Sea from Bondi could be detrimental to tourism elsewhere in the Illawarra.
Wollongong City Councillor and Destination Wollongong board member Tania Brown wants to make an official bid for the 23-year-old public art event, after its founder David Handley called for expressions of interest this week.
A dispute arose between Mr Handley and Waverley Council over a new footpath to improve disability access, which he claims would ruin the art exhibition.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said if Wollongong swooped in and picked it up it may have an impact on their already established Sculptures at Killalea festival.
"Depending on the time of both of events ... there could be an impact," she said.
"Though, there is an opportunity for us to look at putting in a bid to expand what we do here."
Cr Saliba said she would be discussing the viability of putting forward a bid for the Bondi event with their general manager, but thought money could be an issue.
"We've got great scenery and facilities to offer, but financially we wouldn't be able to contribute," she said.
"I don't know what they'd be looking for to host the event. Certainly we'd bend over backwards to make it happen, but if it comes to outlaying money that would have a different impact on us."
Courtney Beaton co-founded Sculptures at Killalea in 2016 which has since become a major tourist attraction.
"We're working rally hard in a regional town with very little funding to hold an event quite significant in size and scale," Mrs Beaton said.
"To have something to come over the top of us in Wollongong would be a little bit hard."
Sculptures at Killalea is similar to its Bondi component, in it calls for submissions from artists locally and overseas.
Dozens of works are setup around the picturesque headland of Killalea State Park, with a range of associated events across the festival.
Frasers Property is currently in discussions with Mrs Beaton regarding expansion of the Killalea festival into the Shell Cove marina precinct.
Shell Cove development director Simone Dyer said the area had its own public art strategy which included public art and a "play trail" around the boat harbour, and any extensions would compliment well.
Ms Dyer said Shellharbour was poised to become a key tourism destination with a new hotel at Shell Cove to be complete in coming years, while the Illawarra Regional Airport and train connections offered easy ways for visitors to get around.