I recently attended a tour of Port Kembla’s port facilities gaining an insight into the potential of the Port and the valuable contribution it makes to the Illawarra region. Edmiston Jones’ Renee McGuinn assisted in organising the event as a member of the Illawarra Property Council’s Future Directions Committee.
The Port is one of the largest infrastructure assets in NSW and is home to the state’s largest motor vehicle import hub and grain export terminal. It is the second largest coal export port in NSW and a vital economic driver for the Illawarra. This has recently been added to with the announcement of planning approval for the $250 million Port Kembla Gas Terminal.
The expansion of the Port facilities goes a long way to diversifying the Illawarra’s economic output. It strengthens our region’s industrial base by continuing to activate a viable working harbour and surrounds as counterpoint to the expanding regional education sector represented by the University of Wollongong. As a region, we need both of these sectors operating from positions of strength.
The growth of the Port also dovetails nicely with the work Edmiston Jones has been doing on the Sustainable Port Kembla project. As Mark Jones and Margie Rahmann have reported in previous articles “Sustainable Port Kembla” and “Sustainable Port Kembla Wrap-Up”, the project represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate how commercial and residential infrastructure in the suburb might transform to take advantage of the worldwide sustainability technology revolution. The outcome aims to improve the livability and sustainability of the homes of the more economically disadvantaged sections of our community.
The ingredients are there for Port Kembla to transform into a special place to work, live and play. The combination of working port activity, sustainable and diverse housing and the coastal playground it naturally enjoys, present an opportunity for Port Kembla and the Illawarra that can’t be missed.