Our campaigns provide a powerful voice for the interests of the Illawarra at all levels of government. They identify our policy positions to the public and help the community better understand why a certain course of action is required.
The Picton Road Motorway Coalition, a campaign based on evidence produced by Illawarra First, was formed to campaign for the upgrade of this important but dangerous corridor to motorway standard. That is, two lanes in each direction, separated the entire way.
We represent the communities, businesses and local councils that are affected by the safety issues and economic constraints posed by Picton Road. Together we are working towards further commitment from state and federal governments to jointly fund this vital project for our regions.
The pre-budget announcement of $44 million to start planning the upgrade of Picton Road was a significant advocacy win for Business Illawarra and members of the Coalition.
The NSW Government committed to complete the business case in 2021 and proceed immediately with concept and detailed design work. From there we can expect construction to commence.
While plenty has been said over the years, our evidence-based advocacy articulated how Picton Road is set to reach peak capacity in five years’ time, with 20,000 vehicles on the road each day, 25 percent of which are heavy vehicles, growing at 7-8 percent each year.
This evidence enabled us to present a clear and compelling case to government and we expect that much-needed upgrades will keep the community safer and allow our economies to grow from a freer exchange of goods, services and workers.
A wide range of businesses, particularly in transport, logistics, education and manufacturing have backed the campaign because they know the current state of Picton Road is hurting the economy.
As the region’s peak business organisation, we understood better than anyone that the challenges facing business as a result of COVID-19 were as diverse as the business community that comprises the Illawarra.
Since the start of the pandemic, we aimed to provide leadership and ongoing support and to tirelessly advocate for the interests of our business community.
In order to keep businesses connected and informed during this time, we presented online events and briefings, regular digital communications and access to the resources they needed to adapt and survive lockdown restrictions.
To support businesses through necessary adaptions and to help navigate rapidly changing regulations we also released Business Response, a series of webinars featuring local experts.