About the Illawarra

The Illawarra Region lies 70km south of Sydney and is bordered by the Tasman Sea and its magnificent escarpment. This narrow strip of coastal plain is an area of outstanding natural beauty that connects Greater Sydney to the attractions of the Shoalhaven and the NSW South Coast. Historically, the Illawarra economy has been dominated by coal mining, steelmaking and heavy manufacturing. Today, those industries still succeed in the Illawarra, but our economic base has broadened to include tourism, education, construction and health care. Our proximity to Greater Sydney, magnificent beaches and overall liveability has seen the growth of tourism, and the world-class reputation of the University of Wollongong increasingly attracts students and researchers. The Illawarra comprises the three local government areas of Wollongong, Kiama & Shellharbour. This region has the third largest economy in NSW, a deep-water port at Port Kembla that is surrounded by significant employment lands, and a local airport with interstate connections at Shellharbour.

Our broad economic base includes tourism, education, professionals and health care but is founded on coal mining, steelmaking and manufacturing. The majority of local employees work in Healthcare and Social Assistance. We want to create a diverse economy that maximises jobs and industries for the region’s future, with transformative projects that will generate high value and skilled jobs. There is a strong current focus on Renewable Energy; Professional Services Industries; the Digital Economy; Advanced Manufacturing and Port Kembla Precinct Development.

The latest Census (2016) indicates that most Illawarra workers are employed as Professionals, with Technicians and Trades as the next popular occupation.

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