"That'd be right - what's new?"
That's Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery's response to the news that not one of the 48 projects to be fast-tracked to a NSW Planning department green light are in the Illawarra.
On Friday, Planning Minister Rob Stokes announced a second tranche of 24 projects worth $5.3 billion to be fast-tracked to help boost the economy after COVID-19.
None are in the Illawarra - and it was the same story with the first tranche of 24 announced in April and worth $7.5 billion.
Only one project in the entire South Coast made the list - a $19.1 million landfill expansion in West Nowra.
Cr Bradbery pointed out the Wollongong LGA provided more than half of the employment employment opportunities for the Illawarra, and that its facilities are extensively used by people from outside the area.
There were projects that could have easily fit the government's "shovel-ready" requirement.
"If you look at our budget and our delivery program there is plenty we have in the system already that are shovel ready," he said.
"We can use any funds that come our way in the interest of boosting employment opportunities in the Illawarra."
Projects that could have used the funding included the WIN Entertainment Centre, the Bulli Showground upgrade and footpaths and cycleways across the city.
"Since the COVID situation we've had to put things on hold but they were ready to go," he said.
However, the Lord Mayor said he was pleased with the $300 million for South Coast rail line upgrades, announced on Thursday.
Mr Stokes pointed to the benefits the fast-tracking has brought to the NSW economy.
"Our first tranche of 24 projects delivered more than 10,000 jobs and $7.7 billion in economic benefit to our state but it's important to recognise these are just the projects we've prioritised," Mr Stokes said.
"During the same period we also approved - through our normal process - 42 projects worth $2.4 billion, creating opportunities for more than 4600 jobs and 399 new homes."
However, Wollongong did get $1.5 million in funding on Friday from the federal government.
The funding comes from the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
This package will improve road safety and bolster the resilience of our local road networks, which will get Australians home sooner and safer, no matter where they live," Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said.
"Projects could include constructing or improving bridges and tunnels, street lighting and heavy vehicle facilities such as rest areas."