NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has announced today that a Labor Government will return $380 million of the Port Kembla sale funds to the Illawarra and establish a dedicated Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund to oversee its distribution into local projects.
The Liberal Government sold Port Kembla for $760 million in April 2013 but promised only $100 million would be reinvested in the Illawarra.
Labor’s commitment to reserve $380 million for Illawarra regional infrastructure represents exactly one-half of the sale proceeds and is a $280 million increase in the amount of funding promised by the Baird Liberal Government.
Mr Foley was joined by Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park, Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay, Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson and Labor candidates Glenn Kolomeitz (Kiama) and Maryanne Stuart (Heathcote) in Wollongong to make the announcement.
“It’s my great pleasure to be able to be in the Illawarra today to announce that a Labor Government will reserve $380 million in a new Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund to ensure that the Illawarra gets its fair share of the sale of Port Kembla,” Mr Foley said.
“Mike Baird and the Liberals have short-changed the Illawarra from the Port sale. The Illawarra deserves a better deal and I will ensure that one-half of the proceeds of the sale of Port Kembla will be invested back into the region.
“Labor will invest in the Illawarra to create jobs and opportunities for people in the region – that’s a commitment I made on my very first day as Labor Leader.
“I have asked my colleagues here in the Illawarra to bring forward infrastructure projects that are important for their local communities.”
Shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park said: “Labor’s commitment to invest $380 million in the Illawarra will correct a grave injustice inflicted on the region by the Baird Liberal Government.
“Mike Baird sold our Port and took the lion’s share of the proceeds back to Sydney – that wasn’t a fair deal for the Illawarra, but a Labor Government will ensure the Illawarra doesn’t miss out.”
Member for Wollongong Noreen Hay added: “The Liberals have treated the Illawarra with complete contempt with their sneaky plan to sell our Port and leave us with the crumbs.”
“I’ve been campaigning for a better deal for the region and today I am very pleased to be able to say Labor will invest $380 million in an infrastructure fund for the Illawarra.”
Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said: “The Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund would be a major boost to infrastructure investment and provide the region with a fair go.”
Labor Candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz said: “A $380 million infrastructure fund for the Illawarra is an exciting prospect which will allow us to get on with the job of delivering some of the key infrastructure projects on our region’s wish list.”
Labor Candidate for Heathcote Maryanne Stuart said: “The Illawarra region was a crucial growth area for the state and Labor’s Illawarra Infrastructure Investment Fund would provide funding to provide the infrastructure needed to support that population and economic growth.”
21 January 2015