The recommendation by Wollongong City Council officers to place on hold further land releases at West Dapto until funding strategies for infrastructure are nailed down is common sense and should be adopted by Councillors, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said today.

“Failure to nail down just how the broad infrastructure requirements of this land release area at West Dapto will be funded will place extraordinary additional burdens on the shoulders of Wollongong local government area ratepayers.

“Council simply can’t be expected to operate on a wing-and-a-prayer on the provision of infrastructure at West Dapto”, she said.

Ms Watson said that she had written to the Minister for Planning seeking funds from the Housing Acceleration Program to be fast-tracked to Council in order to make up the shortfall in funding for construction of the Fowlers Road to Fairwater Drive extension.

“We haven’t even seen the funding allocated to this project from the Illawarra Infrastructure Fund, which was promised two years ago.

“It is time for everyone involved in making decisions on infrastructure funding in the West Dapto area to get their skates on.

“The West Dapto land release area requires certainty and that also means we need to know the State Government is going to meet its commitments to fund infrastructure.

“We simply don’t have those fundamentally crucial commitments at this stage.

“Releasing more land without provision of appropriate infrastructure is like trying to suck a football through a garden hose”, she said.

14 September 2015