A better-connected metro Wollongong on the horizon
A new 40-year vision for metropolitan Wollongong is beginning to take shape, with the NSW Government progressing plans for a Health Precinct Strategy that will further strengthen the southern city as a well-connected, innovative, and progressive city.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and Member for Wollongong Paul Scully said the Department of Planning and Environment had been working with key stakeholders in the Illawarra to understand what’s needed to support the transformation of Wollongong Public Hospital into a nationally significant health precinct.
“This is the first step in finalising the Metro Wollongong Health Precinct Strategy that sets the priorities for the precinct, including how we grow partnerships in research and education, and enable new housing for key workers,” Mr Scully said.
“This new vision will help shape the precinct and outline the housing, employment, and infrastructure servicing needs of a growing Metro Wollongong.
“With a rapidly expanding population, it’s never been more important to get these crucial planning steps right to make sure we have enough housing, jobs close to where people live and easily accessible health services.”
Minister for Health and Member for Keira Ryan Park said it’s anticipated the hospital will, over time, grow beyond its current footprint to accommodate the region’s projected health needs.
“The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District anticipates there will be approximately 30,000 more hospital admissions each year across the region by 2030,” Mr Park said.
“This strategy will be invaluable in helping us to improve access to healthcare services for our growing community, ensuring we have world-class services available to meet the needs of staff, patients and their families.”
The strategy will consider and identify:
- Growth needs of the hospital and potential nearby sites for expansion;
- Place-making and design opportunities to help people move around more easily;
- Improving connections between the Health Precinct, Wollongong Train Station, and the CBD;
- Incentivising a mix of health and medical uses and higher density living and;
- Future opportunities for health and medical research capabilities.
The Department will undertake extensive engagement in coming months, to understand the needs and aspirations of the community, workers and visitors to Wollongong.
A draft discussion paper on the vision, priorities and options for the precinct will be released for public comment later this year, with the strategy anticipated to be finalised by the end of 2024.