The Property Council of Australia has endorsed today’s decision to sack Wollongong City Council, saying it provided the only opportunity for a fresh start for the region after the findings of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Illawarra Chapter Chair Geoff Jones said Wollongong still needed to attract investment and jobs, but that planning processes needed to be made much more transparent to do this.
“History will record this time as a dark period for Wollongong, but this is an opportunity for a new culture in
which to do business and promote investment into the region,” Mr Jones said.
“The decision to sack the Council was the correct decision and has our support.
“The challenge now is to redouble our efforts to grow the region, but adopt far more transparency in the way we do this.
“The region is still crying out for investment, jobs growth, reinvigoration of the city centre and initiatives like the West Dapto land release to address affordability.
“The Property Council repeats its call for the establishment of a regional planning panel to make decisions on development proposals over $10 million to increase transparency.”
Mr Jones said while the ICAC revelations had damaged the investment image of the region, the economic fundamentals of the Illawarra were strong.
“If we get the fundamentals right – clear long term plans, infrastructure investment and transparent processes – investors will bring their money to the region.
“The vast bulk of the property industry are professional people operating with integrity, they want to see this city reach its full potential and be a part of that success.
“Today’s decision helps the region turn the corner. Our members have a long term commitment to the economic health of the region and its progress.
“The State Government now need assist the region to move beyond the ICAC outcomes to build a prosperous future for the Illawarra.
“We look forward to working with the new Administration and Council executives on this task.”
For more information contact:
Mr Geoff Jones, Illawarra Chapter Chair, Property Council of Australia, Ph: 02 42295555, 0418 421074
Ken Morrison, NSW Executive Director, Property Council of Australia, Ph: 0412 233 715