RDA Illawarra is an independent organisation.  We are neutral brokers who advocate across all levels of government for the growth of the Illawarra's economy.

We take a long-term perspective and advocate strategically for the future greater good of the Illawarra region.  We value our people, culture and sustainable development.

We advocate either directly, when commercial or other sensitivities are involved, or publicly through submissions and direct advocacy.

Submissions are made on most matters of economic significance to the Illawarra region.  Our submissions are listed below.

Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Illawarra is pleased to provide this submission on the Draft Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy.

RDA Illawarra supports the implementation of the proposed Illawarra Escarpment Mountain Bike Strategy, as it:

  • Enables Mountain Biking, which is one of the fastest growing adventurebased tourism activities, and is generating world-wide tourism benefits
  • Is time to build a world-class Mountain Biking destination in the Illawarra that is well-planned and managed
  • Is aligned with NSW, regional and local tourism strategies
  • Is mindful of the unique biodiversity and important Aboriginal and nonindigenous culture heritage values, which have a low tolerance for disturbance
  • Supports economic development of a significant Illawarra economic catalytic site, the Illawarra escarpment, including Mount Keira

Princes Highway Corridor Strategy

This joint submission by Regional Development Australia Illawarra and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation identifies the Illawarra and Shoalhaven region key factors to be considered in the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy, including:

  • high levels of vehicle movements on the Princes Highway, with up to 55,000 vehicles per day
  • large peri-urban region, with population growth to over 480,000 people projected by 2036
  • iconic tourist road, the Grand Pacific Drive
  • limited east west links to and from the Princes Highway across the Great Dividing Range
  • critical importance of the Port of Port Kembla as a key economic asset which is under-utilised
  • as the south coast rail line ends at Bomaderry, the principal land transport link south is via the Princes Highway, and requires further freight consideration and B-Double access



The Illawarra is proximate to both Sydney and Canberra, and Wollongong, as the capital of the Illawarra region, is well positioned for the relocation of government bodies. The relocation of government administration bodies to regional areas over time can provide substantial cost savings for government and improve labour force participation and unemployment.

An example of a federal government decentralisation is the Australian Taxation Office which has over 400 employees working out of Wollongong. Lease costs in Wollongong are often 50% lower than Sydney and retention rates are higher compared to Sydney.

RDA Illawarra has made a submission to the Regional Development and Decentralisation Committee and continues to advocate for decentralisation in the region.

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