Unlocking under-utilised industrial land is the key to a bigger and better Illawarra economy and would create thousands of jobs, a new report suggests.
The analysis found that most of the rural zoned land with potential for rezoning to industrial land is in the area south of Unanderra and north of Albion Park.
Potential rezoning sites identified as suitable included parts of the Yallah Railway Corridor, Brownsville Railway Corridor, Avondale, West Dapto, the airport surrounds, Albion Park, Cleveland and Helensburgh.
The research, Industrial Land in the Illawarra, conducted by Urbis and commissioned by the Property Council of Australia, says industrial land should be unlocked to create 3179 jobs across the region.
Property Council Illawarra regional director Michelle Guido said the research has shown that sectors such as knowledge services, advanced manufacturing, trade and logistics have been identified as emerging sectors in our local economy that will provide more local jobs.
"The key to enabling these opportunities is a commitment from local and state government to work together with industry to unlock the parcels of underutilised industrial land, streamline planning processes and ensure a coordinated approach to delivering productive land," she said.
In January 2018, there was a total of 2262 hectares of zoned industrial land in the Illawarra region, according to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
"Of the 289 hectares of undeveloped zoned industrial land in the Illawarra region, 46 per cent is not provided with sewer, water or electricity services," the report says.
The report says a 2014 study indicated that 78 per cent of vacant industrial supply in the region was affected by physical constraints such as bushfires and flooding.
"This indicates that only 36 per cent of zoned industrial land is development-ready."
The report says the 289 hectares of undeveloped land represent significant untapped employment and economic potential for the region, with potential to support up to 3179 jobs if developed as light industrial uses.
Unserviced industrial land has capacity to support up to 1461 of these potential jobs.
Already serviced industrial land has an indicative capacity to support 1718 jobs.
Also, key recommendations from the report include:
*Fast track infrastructure such as the Mt Ousley Interchange, expansion of Port Kembla, the Maldon-Dombarton freight line and exploring the benefits of the M9 Outer Sydney Orbital.
*Provide support for major industrial institutions to invest in regional locations, and explore incentive measures and the burden of development costs in attracting investment.
*Protect large parcels of industrially zoned land from fragmentation, revise allowable uses to allow business innovation and streamline the planning application process for industry.
The story Unlocking industrial land key to reaching Illawarra region's potential: study first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.