A City Deal for the Illawarra-Shoalhaven could set the region up for a bright future, according to University of Wollongong Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings.
The four councils in the region on Friday unveiled a prospectus for a City Deal, which sees all three levels of government working together to plan and develop an area.
The Illawarra-Shoalhaven City Deal includes the Picton Road duplication, Nowra riverside development, an Albion Park link to the Albion Park Rail bypass and a Kiama arts precinct.
Prof Wellings said the City Deal could provide the region with a way forward from the economic shock of COVID-19.
"The vision and program outlined represent a considered and confident package of initiatives that can drive the transformation of the Illawarra-Shoalhaven and position our region for economic and employment recovery," Prof Wellings said.
The City Deal encapsulates the needs and aspirations of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven.Adam Zarth
"Federal and state governments rightly encourage regional communities to take charge of defining their aspirations and charting a course of action.
"Leaders in the Illawarra-Shoalhaven have risen to that challenge. Now we seek the support and investment of government to work with us to deliver jobs growth and improved liveability for our communities."
The Illawarra Business Chamber, through its Illawarra First arm, had already been advocating for some of the projects in the prospectus, including the Picton Road duplication and the South West Illawarra Rail Link
"The proposed City Deal encapsulates the needs and aspirations of the Illawarra and Shoalhaven," said chamber executive director Adam Zarth.
"We will continue to progress the case for rail and road enhancements that will facilitate our ongoing economic development and provide our growing population with access to jobs closer to home.
"Our research demonstrates that the Picton Road motorway upgrade and a South West Illawarra Rail Link are both vital in order to prevent complete passenger and freight congestion by 2025 on our roads and 2036 for rail."
The Property Council had worked with the councils in the development stages of the City Deal and Illawarra Regional Director Michelle Guido said the united focus was heartening.
"It is fantastic to see all four local councils on board with major funding committed and I commend the City Deal Collaborative Group on their hard work," Ms Guido said.
"The support now from state and federal governments is what we need to drive this forward."
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