Homeowners will be enticed to flee Wollongong for Shellharbour or Kiama under a State Government policy rushed through Parliament last week.The move comes despite figures showing Shellharbour has twice Wollongong's population growth rate.The new policy will also encourage homeowners to move from Wollongong to other regional areas, even though the city's population growth rate is among the slowest of all regional cities in Australia.From July 1, families who relocate from Sydney, Wollongong or Newcastle city to regional NSW will receive $7000.The Government says the payout is designed to reduce population and congestion pressures in Sydney and promote regional growth.It will be paid after the sale of a metropolitan home and the purchase of a home in a regional area.The four-year scheme is expected to cost up to $280 million and will be capped at 40,000 grants.Treasurer Mike Baird introduced the surprise bill to the lower house last Wednesday, and it passed the upper house that night.Keira MP Ryan Park said the policy "defies any level of common sense"."You can be in the Wollongong LGA [local government area] in the suburb of Dapto, and move 500m down to Albion Park Rail in the Shellharbour LGA, and get $7000," he said."How that encourages economic activity and growth in the region is beyond me."Wollongong MP Noreen Hay slammed the decision as "disgraceful" and questioned how Minister for the Illawarra Greg Pearce, as the region's voice in Cabinet, could "encourage people to leave" its major city.Shellharbour MP Anna Watson also opposed the policy, despite the fact her electorate stands to benefit.Property Council Illawarra chair David Laing questioned whether $7000 would be enough to entice a family to relocate. "Wollongong and Newcastle … are fundamentally different to Sydney in size, scale and how they perform," he said."[The Government] needs to be very careful as to how they draw the boundaries."A spokesman for Mr Pearce said the relocation grants would promote growth across the Illawarra, bringing skills and experience to a range of industries.