There’s been no shortage of news in the Illawarra over the past 12 months – from the contentious wind farm proposal to a deadly dog disease. Here are a dozen of our top stories from 2023. Guess what was number one?
Ten months after fire severely damaged Woonona’s Amcal Plus Pharmacy, the front doors have finally reopened, much to the relief of owner Michael Goodman.
Staff worked around builders while restocking shelves and welcoming customers back on 16 October. They were even pleased to hear the sound of Princes Highway traffic after months of working in a “cave” at the rear of the building.
A disease that can be potentially fatal to our beloved pets has been detected in the Illawarra as local veterinary clinics continue to struggle with vaccine supply.
Greencross Fairy Meadow vet director Dr Kevin Calleja said sporadic cases of leptospirosis have been reported among dogs in the region, with parts of the Shoalhaven considered hotspot areas.
“Leptospirosis is a bacteria that’s transmitted predominantly in the urine of rats and mice. Animals can come into contact with that urine either by ingesting it or through a cut, and that’s how it infects them,” Dr Calleja said.
More than 360 students have been Walking on Sunshine at the Illawarra Sports Stadium, rehearsing for the Southern Stars – The Arena Spectacular.
The spectacular show features about 3000 students from more than 100 public schools, showcasing dance, drama and music performed to a live orchestra by students from Year 2 to Year 12.
A two-metre bronze artwork of a whale on the Lake Illawarra Art Trail was unveiled during National Reconciliation Week, making it the biggest investment in a single piece of public art by Shellharbour City Council.
Council invested $135,000 to commission the artwork at Reddall Reserve, Lake Illawarra, titled Burri Burri, meaning ‘whale’ in local Dharawal language.
An underwater photographer dived into action to retrieve a GoPro after it was stolen by a cheeky octopus in Jervis Bay on 5 July.
Maree Clout from Jervis Bay Through My Eyes managed to wrangle the camera and selfie stick from the brazen cephalopod after it was taken from 15-year-old snorkeller Jesse Loffel near Murrays Breakwall in the Boderee National Park.
Illawarra residents were given two months to learn about the proposed wind farm development zone off our coast, ask questions and provide feedback to the Federal Government.
The Federal Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen announced details of the renewable energy zone during a visit to Port Kembla.
The proposed area is 1461 square kilometres, at least 10 km out from shore and up to 30 km off Kiama’s coast. It will have the potential to generate up to 4.2 GW, enough to power up to 3.4 million homes.
Three hundred electric scooters were rolled out in Wollongong at the end of September as part of a 12-month trial.
The distinctive orange e-scooters are speed-limited and confined to certain roads and shared paths around the city and north to Sandon Point.
The first of three missing links in the Great Southern Walk has been completed, with a new 1 km track featuring more than 400 sandstone steps linking the bush to the beach.
The new section from Bald Hill to Stanwell Park connects the Royal National Park to the Illawarra Escarpment State Conservation Area.
The Great Southern Walk will eventually be a 67 km coastal track from Kurnell in Sydney’s south to the Southern Gateway Centre at Bulli Tops.
It’s going to cost BlueScope more than $1 billion to get the mothballed No 6 blast furnace at Port Kembla Steelworks up and running again. Take a look inside the giant facility that will soon be buzzing with hundreds of new local tradies on site.
School leavers across the Illawarra are ready to start planning for the future after receiving their long-awaited HSC results and some students have exceeded their own expectations by dominating in every one of their subjects.
A parcel of BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks – larger in size than the Melbourne CBD – will be transformed into a multi-industrial precinct and a potential “super TAFE”.
BlueScope on 20 November unveiled a master plan to develop 200 ha of non-steelmaking excess land adjacent to the steelworks.
Developed after 18 months of research, analysis and community engagement, the master plan will see BlueScope transform the surplus land into a next-generation multi-industrial precinct with potential to create 30,000 jobs in emerging industries such as clean energy and defence.