Southern Region

The Illawarra Regional Growth Plan

The NSW Government is developing a new plan for the way the Illawarra will grow over the next 20 years.
Go to the Illawarra Discussion Paper website and have your say about what your community needs for housing, jobs, transport, infrastructure and the environment.




Illawarra Regional Strategy

The Illawarra Region is framed by the stunning natural features of the Illawarra Escarpment and coastline. It is home to more than 280,000 people, a $6 billion manufacturing sector, and the regional city of Wollongong. The southern portion of the region is characterised by cultural landscapes and agricultural lands that provide a long-term resource for sustainable food production. 

Trans sea cliff road bridge

By 2031, the region's population is expected to increase by 47,600 people. The strategy will ensure that adequate land is available and appropriately located to sustainably accommodate the region's projected housing and employment needs over the next 25 years. The strategy also protects the region's magnificent natural features such as the Illawarra Escarpment, Lake Illawarra and the Minnamurra estuary. 

The NSW Government's 25-year land use strategy aims to:

  • Ensure an adequate supply of land strategically located to support economic growth and the capacity for an additional 30,000 new jobs. In particular, the strategy supports a land-use planning framework which captures employment benefits from the $140 million Port Kembla port expansion.
  • Provide 38,000 new dwellings by 2031 to cater for the region's growing population and changing demographics, mainly through the revitalisation of Wollongong City Centre, urban renewal around centres and the development of West Dapto.
  • Protect high value environments including coastal lakes, estuaries, aquifers, threatened species, vegetation communities and habitat corridors by ensuring that new urban development minimises impacts on these important areas and their catchments.
  • Prevent development in places constrained by coastal processes, flooding, wetlands, important primary industry resources and significant scenic and cultural landscapes.
  • Ensure that existing and proposed transport corridors are protected to support freight transport and improve network efficiencies.

The strategy will guide local planning in the three local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. The strategy will be reviewed every five years. The strategy will work in conjunction with a city centre planning vision for Wollongong, produced by the Department of Planning's Cities Taskforce.

Inquiries: Phone 02 4224 9450 or email

Illawarra Urban Development Program

The Illawarra Urban Development Program reports on the supply of greenfield land and housing in the Illawarra, accompanying the Metropolitan Development Program for the Sydney Metropolitan Region. The report, which was reintroduced by the Illawarra Regional Strategy, includes input from state agencies, council and industry, and monitors the planning, servicing and development for new urban areas in Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. 

View reports:

Employment lands resources

Illawarra and South Coast Employment Lands Update 2009 [PDF 336KB] (Department of Planning 2009) is used to track the supply of employment land within the Illawarra and South Coast as well as the local government area of Wingecarribee. The document is used by the Illawarra Employment Lands Taskforce to ensure that sufficient employment land is available in the short and long term to encourage investment in the region. The document compliments the Employment Lands Guidelines for the Illawarra, released by the Department of Planning in February 2008.

Employment Lands Guidelines for the Illawarra [PDF 125KB] (Department of Planning 2008) has been prepared to support the Illawarra Regional Strategy, which covers the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. The guidelines also apply to the adjoining Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee areas, which have strong economic links to the region. The guidelines will assist the NSW Government and the region's councils to promote the orderly planning and development of employment land in the region, particularly in the preparation of strategic plans, new local environmental plans and development control plans.




Last Updated 06-Dec-2013