Western Sydney Illawarra Shoalhaven Cross Regional Transport Forum | Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation

Western Sydney Illawarra Shoalhaven Cross Regional Transport Forum

Fostering cross-regional collaboration and developing shared transport priority outcomes for the Western Sydney and the Illawarra Shoalhaven regions.

On 9 July 2020, ISJO hosted the Western Sydney Illawarra Shoalhaven Cross Regional Transport Forum.

About the event:

Given their geographic proximity, growing populations and complementary industries, there were many untapped opportunities for greater collaboration between the neighbouring regions of Western Sydney and the Illawarra Shoalhaven.

Both regions have enjoyed sustained population and economic growth as they transition from a focus on traditional manufacturing and industry to new opportunities such as; ICT and knowledge services; aviation, defence and advanced manufacturing and education and tourism.

In September 2019, tapping into the prospect of a cross-regional team, the Western Sydney Illawarra Shoalhaven Roadmap to Collaboration was launched. This strategy set out a series of actions which would enable the two regions to work more collaboratively and unlock further capabilities for each region. One of the actions that was assigned to the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation, was to hold a Cross Regional Transport Forum.

To date, consultation and feedback had only ever been sought on an LGA and regional level. The importance of this new collaborative approach stemmed from the idea that what may be seen as advantageous for one region, may create difficulties for the other downstream. The Transport Forum would give cross regional stakeholders the opportunity to collectively advocate for better freight and passenger connectivity between the two regions to support economic and population growth for all.

Representatives from the Western Sydney and Illawarra Shoalhaven council regions were both in attendance, giving them the opportunity to be brought up to speed on the transport (both passenger and freight) related strategy that equally impacts both.

A number of particular projects and areas of interest were at the forefront of discussion, some of which included:

  • Western Sydney Aerotropolis and the importance for connectivity to the south;
  • SWIRL Research and the Picton Road Duplication;
  • Outer Sydney Orbital Corridor and the Orbital Extension (Mt Ousley + Wilton);
  • Fast and Faster Rail - Bomaderry to Sydney + Canberra to Sydney;
  • The Western Sydney City Deal, Wilton Lands, and evolution of transforming cities;
  • Mega trends in transport during and post Covid-19;
  • Princes Highway Upgrades including the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

Success for this Forum meant a number of things - Equal representation and input from both regions, the ability for stakeholders to share information about progress and research, the incorporation of feedback, effective advocacy ensuring relevant infrastructure projects get funding allocations beyond the Forum and the potential for a Cross-Regional Advisory Group to be developed for ongoing consultation and advice.

The Roadmap to Collaboration was the first step towards taking a shared approach to leveraging opportunities in both regions, the Cross Regional Transport Forum was the next. 

To view the Presentation and Panel Discussion Summaries from the Forum, please click on the link below:

Presentation and Panel Discussion Summaries

Guest speakers on the day:

Adam Zarth

Executive Director, Illawarra Business Chamber and Illawarra First

Gabriel Metcalf

Chief Executive Officer, Committee for Sydney

Cr Tania Brown

Chief Operating Officer, SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong

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Nathaniel Smith MP

NSW Parliament, Member for Wollondilly

Matthew Dudley

Principal Transport Planner, Transport for NSW

The Hon. Gareth Ward

Member for Kiama, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services 

The Hon. Andrew Constance MP

NSW Parliament, Minister for Transport and Roads

Andrew Jackson

Director, Western Sydney Planning Partnership

Tim Poole

COO, Western Sydney and Aerotropolis Authority

Linda Davis

 Director Planning and Environment, Wollongong City Council

The Hon. Stuart Ayres MP

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney 

 Sam Knight

 Regional Director Southern, Transport for NSW

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Leanne Taylor

Chief Executive Officer, Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation


Adam Gray

 Senior Manager Regional Planning, Transport for NSW

 Christian Beekes

A/General Manager, Rail and City Deal Implementation


Geoff Cahill

Director Corridor Preservation, Transport for NSW

Clr Gordon Bradbery AM

Lord Mayor, Wollongong City Council and Chair, Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation

Michael Comninos 

Director, Astrolabe Group

The Media Alerts/Releases for the Cross Regional Transport Forum can be viewed here:

Media Alert - Cross Regional Transport Forum Drives Future Initiatives

Media Release - Cross Regional Transport Forum to Drive Future Transport Initiatives

Media Release - Cross Regional Transport Forum Generates New Commitments

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