1 May 2024

$500,000 government funding kick-starts transport planning for steelworks' mega new precinct

| Jen White
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Five people standing in an industrial area.

Standing at the proposed “front door” of the Port Kembla Steelworks’ development … BlueScope’s Dave Scott, Roads Minister John Graham and Illawarra MPs Anna Watson, Paul Scully and Maryanne Stuart. Photo: Jen White.

The NSW Government is helping to fast-track the transformation of Port Kembla Steelworks’ surplus land with $500,000 funding for transport planning.

Last November, BlueScope unveiled a master plan to develop 200 ha of non-steelmaking excess land adjacent to the steelworks.

The master plan will transform the surplus land into a next-generation multi-industrial precinct with the potential to create 30,000 jobs in emerging industries such as clean energy and defence.

The company has also signed a memorandum of understanding with TAFE NSW to explore the opportunity for a “super TAFE” on the site.

READ ALSO Multi-industrial precinct and ‘super TAFE’ planned for 200 ha of Port Kembla Steelworks’ excess land

NSW Roads Minister John Graham visited the steelworks on Tuesday (30 April), along with Illawarra MPs Paul Scully, Anna Watson and Maryanne Stuart.

The politicians stood at the proposed “front door” to the precinct, off Five Islands Road.

Artist's impression of the development's entrance

An artist’s impression of the development’s entrance off Five Islands Road. Photo: BlueScope.

Mr Graham said the $500,000 funding would accelerate planning for transport infrastructure, including public transport.

“This site needs a front door and that’s what this planning will provide – an opportunity for the public to have access to this site with its incredible potential for jobs. This is what’s needed here, both for jobs and the potential for clean energy transformation.

“It’s the potential for modern manufacturing here and the potential to have that magic mix of our industrial heritage and creativity all together on this one site.

“That work starts today, as we begin planning for how to open up this site, the transport planning that will really focus on that front door question and some of those key intersections on Five Islands Road.

“Then, over time, we will look at public transport and accessibility to the site more generally to match the ambition of the master plan.”

READ ALSO From Charles Hoskins’ paddocks to today’s powerhouse – Port Kembla Steelworks marks 95 years

Mr Scully said the proposal was probably the largest land transformation of its type in the world and would be for the foreseeable future.

“It’s important that we get it right,” he said.

“An important part of that is if we’re going to realise the true benefits of the future employment potential of this land, it’s having the exit and entry points for those future employees coming in.

“With 30,000 people working here, we’re going to need to make sure that it’s connected to the region. It cannot be an island that operates just in and of itself. We’ve got to make sure that those people can get in and out. That’s not just by car, that’s also connecting up and making sure that the rail network is integrated into this site. It’s also making sure that there are good active transport routes in and out of this site.”

BlueScope will continue to work with government and other agencies to develop the master plan and determine what is required to make the proposed development a reality.

General manager of manufacturing Dave Scott said BlueScope was aiming to have some key components in place before the 100th anniversary of steelmaking in the Illawarra in 2028.

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