It has been revealed that Lake Illawarra has received only $244,000 in funding from the State Government since the abolition of the Lake Illawarra Authority (LIA), Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said today.

“The State Government has finally revealed that it is now short-changing one of the region’s biggest waterways.

“In the last year of the LIA’s operation (2013-14) the State Government provided nearly $1 million in funding for the management of Lake Illawarra.

“Since the LIA’s abolition, the State Government has provided only $244,000 in three grants – all provided to Wollongong City Council.

“The State Government has also confirmed a $490,000 grant was offered to Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils for which the LIA had successfully applied in 2013-14 but the Councils declined to undertake the projects.

“The bottom line here is that the State Government is short-changing the funding of Lake Illawarra and this will now continue into the future because of the capitulation of both Wollongong and Shellharbour City Councils agreeing to establish a powerless estuary management committee.

“Both Councils have now imposed an extra burden on their own ratepayers for the management of Lake Illawarra as the State Government successfully shifted its responsibility to the two local councils”, she said.

Ms Watson said that since the establishment of the LIA in 1988 it had delivered over $59 million worth of improvements to Lake Illawarra, including enhanced public access to the foreshore.

Ms Watson said that Labor had pledged to re-establish the LIA by 1 July this year if it won the March election.  Labor pledged the organisation would receive $1.2 million each year.

15 July 2015