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Gilmore Electorate visit to address Illawarra Region of Councils Annual General Meeting



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Media Statement - S19a/98 Page 1 o f2

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Other M edia Statements [Minister for Regional Development. Territories and Local Government] [Minister for Transport and Regional Development 1

[Michael Ronaldson, Parliamentary Secretary] [Departmental]

M e d i a

R e l e a s eTHE HON ALEX SC Minister for Regional Development, Territories and I 6 March S19a/98

GILMORE ELECTORATE VISIT TO ADDRESS ILLAWARRA REGION OF COUNCILS ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Federal Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Alex Somlyay today addressed the Illawarra Region Organisation of Councils (IROC) at the Shoalhaven City Council to highlight the value of this organisations active participation in encouraging regional development and regional co-operation.

The Minister accompanied by the Federal Member for Gilmore, Mrs Joanna Gash said the Federal Government encourages local government to continue to acknowledge the value of participating in regional groupings of councils to advance regional growth opportunities.

"Local councils working in unity are well placed to address a range of issues to benefit the welfare of the wider regional community, especially in identifying and facilitating economic, employment and investment opportunities in the Illawarra region.

"They have the capacity to provide encouragement and support to existing and prospective businesses, industries and investors.

"Some 54% of local government councils across Australia are involved in regional organisations of councils and Joanna Gash and I encourage this regional grouping in the Illawarra to keep up their momentum as major regional players," said Mr Somlyay.

The Minister and Mrs Gash jointly welcomed the Federal/NSW government decision to provide $300,000 for a study into the upgrading of Main Road 92. The route between Nowra and Braidwood is strategically important as a potential economic boost for the Illawarra, South Coast

and Canberra regions. The Federal contribution to the study is $100,000

"The energetic demand for this upgrading study launched by Mrs Gash and the Shoalhaven City Council is now achieved," said Mr Somlyay.

http://www.dot.gov.aU/media/somlyay/l 998/sl 9a_98.htm 04/06/1998

Media Statement - S19a/98 Page 2 o f2

The Minister said the economic arguments and transport hub links advanced by the Member for Gilmore have established a powerful justification for the upgrading to be studied as a top priority.

"These studies will I'm sure, help prove the case for the new road link to enable business in the region to gain from improved freight and tourism links," said Mr Somlyay.

He said this region is benefiting from the important 'whole of government' element in the Federal Governments strategy for regional development. The work of Joanna Gash at the Federal level has ensured that money has been allocated in almost every portfolio and this has a telling impact on the economic and social well-being of this regional community.

"Taking the Transport and Regional Development portfolio some $ 12.7m has been allocated in the 1997/98 financial year in Gilmore.

"This spending relates to infrastructure improvements on roads in the electorate with money for the Federal Road Safety Black Spot programme, financial assistance grants for roads and general purpose financial assistance grants which are untied to councils," Mr Somlyay said.

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Further information: Graeme Hallett (Minister's Media Adviser) 02-6277 7060

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http://www.dot.gov.au/media/somlyay/1998/sl9a_98.htm 04/06/1998