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Planning

Planning for Illawarra Shoalhaven

What’s happening now

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 is the first of nine regional plans across the state to have its five-yearly review completed and be updated to reset priorities for the next 20 years.

The updated regional plan builds on the significant momentum of the previous plan to provide a vision and direction to bring housing, jobs, infrastructure, a healthy environment, connected communities and access to green spaces to communities in the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

The new plan identifies 15 regionally significant precincts to drive jobs creation, housing and vibrant communities, with a focus on diverse, affordable and social housing. The 15 precincts cover more than 2,300 hectares of land for employment, recreation, culture, housing and innovation to provide 45,000 jobs and 38,000 new homes.

Four main themes drive the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041 (PDF, 15.0 MB):

  1. A productive and innovative region
  2. A sustainable and resilient region
  3. A region that values its people and places
  4. A smart, connected and accessible region

View the plan

Community and stakeholder consultation

Between October 2019 and December 2020, the NSW Government undertook an extensive, multi-phase engagement program to raise awareness and enable the community and stakeholders to have their say on the development of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041.

consultation report (PDF, 1.0 MB) was produced from the engagement program.

Collecting evidence

Extensive research was conducted to inform the development of the updated regional plan including these two studies:

A Regional Approach to Sustainability in the Illawarra Shoalhaven 2020 (PDF, 5.6 MB) which identifies regional collaborative opportunities for improved sustainability.

Public Spaces in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Region 2020 (PDF, 15.8 MB) which investigates and analyses access to public spaces in the region.

How the plan will be implemented

An Illawarra Shoalhaven Delivery Coordinating and Monitoring Committee will oversee the delivery and implementation of the updated regional plan, bringing together agencies and organisations responsible for delivering the plan’s nine actions.

The committee will monitor and review progress towards achieving the vision and meeting the objectives.

The department has developed an Implementation Plan (2021–2026) (PDF, 1.66 MB). The implementation plan:

  • explains the linkages between the vision, themes, objectives, actions, strategies and collaboration activities in the regional plan
  • assigns accountabilities and timeframes for the implementation of actions
  • guides the Illawarra Shoalhaven Coordination and Monitoring Committee in its role of overseeing delivery of the regional plan
  • informs monitoring of the regional plan.

What’s happened so far

Some key highlights of what the previous Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2036 (PDF, 5.7 MB) has delivered include:

  • exploring opportunities to grow the national competitiveness of metropolitan Wollongong
  • developing the NSW South Coast Marine Tourism Strategy
  • developing initiatives to protect and enhance the natural environment, including biodiversity corridors, riparian areas and Lake Illawarra stormwater management
  • monitoring and analysis of land for housing and job creation, including the development of a digital dashboard to enable people to search current, historical and estimated housing data for the region.

Monitoring Reports and Implementation Plan

In 2017 and 2019, we created monitoring reports for the previous Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2036. Both reports identify key achievements for delivering on the goals, directions and actions of the previous regional plan.

You can read the 2019 Monitoring Report (PDF, 421 KB) and 2017 Monitoring Report (PDF, 3.9 MB).

Local Strategic Planning Statement

By 1 July 2020 every Council in NSW was required to prepare a Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS).

The LSPS sets out the 20-year vision for:

  • land use in the local area
  • the special character and values that are to be preserved, and
  • how change will be managed into the future.

The LSPS helps ensure priorities identified in the Regional Plan align with the unique economic, social and environmental characteristics of the local government area.

The LSPS from Shoalhaven, Shellharbour, Wollongong and Kiama councils were considered in the updated draft Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041.

Nowra Riverfront Advisory Taskforce

Following finalisation of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2041, we continue our work with key stakeholders on a range of initiatives including the activation of the Nowra Riverfront.

On 12 November 2020, the NSW Government established a Nowra Riverfront Advisory Taskforce to drive the revitalisation of the Nowra riverfront precinct and assist in fast-tracking the development of the site. The group is co-chaired by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and the Department of Regional NSW with membership including: Member for South Coast and Minister for Local Government, the Hon Shelley Hancock MP; Member for Kiama, Mr Gareth Ward MP; Member for Gilmore, Mrs Fiona Phillips MP and representatives from Shoalhaven City Council and other key agencies. A joint state and local government approach will ensure activities are coordinated and aligned to the existing works underway, including the new Nowra Bridge.

Please see the Taskforce’s Terms of Reference (PDF, 190 KB) and key actions (PDF, 133 KB).

Additional resources

For further information: