Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005Executive Summary       The Futures Process           "In the Year 2025, Woll...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005higher education and government services. Health services are also focusedin ...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005This sustainability approach is holistic. It takes account of theinterrelatio...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005Strategy Themes                           VisionsLiving City                 ...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005A Practical FrameworkThe Futures Plan outlines the community’s aspirations an...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005The Futures Plan recognises that a number of the actions required to realiset...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY.......................................................
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005      5.2.2    Partners.........................................................
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20051 Introduction        Looking to the Future          Wollongong is a dynamic ...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005extensively in thinking about Wollongong’s future and how they want theirown ...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20052 The Wollongong Futures Process2.1    Wollongong Futures           The under...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005                 •     Design and implement (contribute to) a decision suppor...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005        A Community Advisory Group (CAG) was established to develop and refin...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005        Starting from the Community Values Survey, workshop participants iden...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005      City Council and other levels of government, non-government organisatio...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005The Wollongong Futures Plan is a directional plan that will help guide someof...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053 Wollongong – Present and Future 3.1   Wollongong Now                       ...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.1.1    State of the City        Structure        Wollongong LGA has a uniqu...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005         rate still remains around 2.5 percentage points above the NSW       ...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005          women in the workforce and the numbers in part-time and casual work...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005        Culture        Wollongong has a strong cultural base which provides a...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005           Continued high residential prices, congestion factors and environm...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005Building on Advantage   Wollongong is now being recognised for its assets, as...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.2.2    Key Future Drivers        Wollongong does not exist in isolation and...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.2.3    The Challenges We Face        Securing a Balance        Wollongong f...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005              The Economic Road Map                                     Growi...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005        The Greater Metropolitan Region had a population of 4.9 million peopl...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.3.3    Wollongong Strategy        This Wollongong Futures Report sets the f...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20054 The Future Vision  4.1     Wollongong 2025– A Sustainable City        The f...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005        The focus of sustainability is on ensuring a healthy, productive, and...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005  4.2     Strategy Directions4.2.1    Visions for the City        The Futures...
Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 Strategy                                     Visions Themes Living City     ...
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a
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Wollongong futures draft strategy report for exhibition 14 a

  1. 1. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005Executive Summary The Futures Process "In the Year 2025, Wollongong will be a sustainable local government area, safeguarding the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of present and future generations". The City of Wollongong is now looking to its future. The Wollongong community has mapped out a future for the region and its people. The Wollongong Futures Plan embodies the approach that we will take as a community to achieve sustainable outcomes for the city and its people, for the environment and the local economy. The Futures Plan is broad in its scope and impact, but at the heart of the Plan is our desire to develop a sustainable region. The plan also identifies the actions that are required to realise this vision. Wollongong Futures is a strategic planning initiative that has helped us as a community to think about the future we want, to develop a shared vision, and to plan how to achieve it. The process has enabled us to determine the way we would like to see the City of Wollongong develop over the next 20 years. This report takes the futures analysis to its final stage by incorporating the key research findings with the community inputs, in order to shape an operational strategy that links key actions. The Futures Plan is not just a plan for Wollongong City Council and its own activities. The Plan is a comprehensive long term vision for Wollongong. Within its scope are desired outcomes that will also require actions by government at all levels - State and National, and actions by business and the community. The Wollongong Futures Plan is a living document. It is designed so that the broad visions can be re-visited every 5 years, so they can be reviewed and updated to reflect changing demographics, new community needs and emerging opportunities. Achievements and outcomes will be tracked on an ongoing basis, through Council’s Strategic Plan and its Corporate Plan. Future Directions The Wollongong Local Government Area (LGA) has a unique structure. It is a linear city with urban development concentrated within a relatively narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean. The LGA stretches for around 70 kms along the coast. This unique structure has lead to the development of several distinct areas of settlement to the North and South of the Wollongong city centre. As well as impacting on residential areas, the city structure has also influenced the pattern of manufacturing, retail and service employment. There is a strong concentration of jobs in and around the Wollongong City Centre.1 Most of the knowledge based service employment is located in and around the city centre and this includes business services, financial services,1 Recent analysis by Buchan Consulting shows that almost 50% of jobs are located in an area thatincludes the city centre and the immediate adjacent areas in the north and west of the city. (EconomicAnalysis of the Wollongong Central City Area Volume 1 Report, Buchan Consulting November 2004) 1
  2. 2. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005higher education and government services. Health services are also focusedin the City Centre.To the south of the City Centre, the steelworks and industrial areas adjacentto the Port account for a substantial part of the region’s manufacturing relatedjobs.Servicing local populations, there is a series of shopping centres located atThirroul, Corrimal, Figtree, Warrawong and Dapto. These areas also includea range of local service businesses.From a social perspective, the unique geography also impacts on theaccessibility of community and cultural facilities and the number of localfacilities needed to serve an elongated community. It also has an effect oncity cohesiveness, especially cohesion between its northern and southerncommunities.Wollongong is at a critical point in its development. It has gone through alengthy period of adjustment to the major contraction in employment in steelproduction and mining that occurred from the second half of the 1980s.A key to the future is creating a sustainable city, in all its dimensions – social,environmental and economic. We need to improve our environment, deal withkey social problems and ensure that we have a vibrant economy that isgenerating a faster rate of job growth and new opportunities for ourcommunity.From an economic perspective, an important part of being a sustainable citywill be to achieve growth in new industries. A key focus of the Wollongongdevelopment strategy must be on ‘smart’ growth covering advancedmanufacturing, metals and engineering, health and medical, education,information technology, other knowledge based services and creativeindustries.It is also important that Wollongong continues to play a broader role in theIllawarra and South Coast Regions. Wollongong is the regional capital andthis role needs to be continually strengthened over time in retail,entertainment and recreation.This will involve an investment in knowledge through innovation and researchand development, the establishment of new enterprises as well as ensuringthat key skills (including technical and trade skills) are available in thepopulation. Initiatives will be required to encourage the development of newsmall businesses.In shaping our future it will be important to manage and improve our naturalenvironment and our built environment. In planning for new growth, we needto take account of key environmental issues including: water availability,waste, energy and motor vehicle use.Wollongong Futures Plan A sustainable community can face the future with confidence because it has a secure and renewable supply of resources and a healthy environment, it has a vibrant regional economy that generates employment opportunities, and has a strong social fabric and active community life. This is a major focus of the long term vision for Wollongong.Wollongong Futures has developed a coherent 20 year vision for the City’sfuture.Sustainability is the defining feature at the core of the vision. The FuturesPlan is focused on Wollongong becoming a sustainable community. 2
  3. 3. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005This sustainability approach is holistic. It takes account of theinterrelationships between social factors, our environment and our economyin seeking to secure a balance and the best possible quality of life outcomesfor all our community.The Futures process has generated ten visions or strategic platforms, each ofwhich describes an aspect of life in Wollongong now and into the future.These visions came out of the Wollongong Futures community consultationprocess and were refined in the action planning stage of the project.These visions were further refined to be grouped under 4 strategy themes.Wollongong will be: a Living City, an Innovative City, A Connected City andan Inclusive City. The table below illustrates the visions developed by thecommunity under each strategy theme. 3
  4. 4. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005Strategy Themes VisionsLiving City Developing a Wollongong will foster thriving urban areas progressive and with innovative development that is based quality urban on principles of design excellence and that environment for contributes to a strong sense of place throughout the local government area. people Developing Wollongong’s future vision includes the local development of vibrant local communities communities and cultures. Valuing and Wollongong will enjoy a natural environment sustaining the that is protected and enhanced, and a natural human environment that is designed and environment developed in harmony with nature. Enhancing our The lifestyle of the Wollongong community community’s will be influenced by the natural, cultural and lifestyle recreational assets of the areaInnovative City Supporting and Wollongong will have a flourishing and developing the sustainable economy with an increasing regional number of employment opportunities economy developed in the local government area. Embracing Wollongong will be a vibrant, contemporary creativity and local government area which protects, cultural identity enhances and celebrates diversity, inclusiveness, creativity and originality.Connected City Facilitating and Wollongong will have a well-planned, integrating coordinated and clean transport system that movement links the City to Sydney, to other regional centres and that provides access to all relevant localities within the local government area in a safe, convenient and affordable manner Access to high Wollongong will have a high quality speed tele- telecommunications network, which provides communications fast links for business and the community to the digital world.Inclusive City Access, equity, Wollongong will be a local government area utility that will be accessible on all levels to the whole community. In the future, Wollongong will consider access, equity and utility in all that it does and strives to achieve. Council and Wollongong will have an involved community community working in partnership with an accessible, partnership in responsive and accountable Council that city governance provides dynamic and proactive leadership to the local government area. 4
  5. 5. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005A Practical FrameworkThe Futures Plan outlines the community’s aspirations and sets the directionsfor policy across a wide range of categories. It aims to secure a better futurefor Wollongong, one that is based on the principles of sustainability.Progress is well underway in a number of major areas of policy, for examplein environment policies and programs and in planning for a revitalised CentralCity Area.The Futures Plan will guide Council’s long term Strategic Plans and itsCorporate Plan. It will also impact on the various planning instruments, suchas the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plans,which will influence the future shape of Wollongong and its communities. ThePlan will also set the broad directions that will impact on future budgetdecisions.The Futures Plan also has relevance to the actions of the other tiers ofgovernment and other organisations within the LGA.The Futures Plan is a living plan, and performance will be tracked andmonitored on a regular basis, with adjustments being made to take account ofchanged circumstances and emerging opportunities.Monitoring ProgressIn this respect it will be important to identify outcomes and to measureprogress against the major elements of the Futures Plan. This tracking,measurement and regular review of strategies will ensure that the Planremains relevant and can be adjusted to reflect changes in circumstancesand new opportunities.This tracking will involve establishing measures for each of the 4 Future Citythemes and reviewing the core strategies on a regular basis. The mediumterm nature of many of the initiatives means that some of the strategies wouldbe reviewed every 5 years. Others would be examined more frequently.Building PartnershipsThe Plan, along with the detailed research and analysis that has beenundertaken, provides a strong foundation for seeking support from all levelsof government. It also provides a basis for regional cooperation andpartnering on key issues affecting our future.The implementation of major elements of the plan will require partnershipsbetween Council, other levels of government, business, the community andother key stakeholder groups. While the leadership of these coalitions willvary, it will be important for Council to play an active role at all times.Taking ActionA proactive program to influence government (State and National) onstrategic planning, the environment, infrastructure, economic development,social well-being and other key issues will be an important part of realisingour visions for Wollongong.Wollongong needs to be highly visible to both the State Government and theFederal Government on a wide range of issues that affect the future of ourCity. For example many of the components of Wollongong’s economicdevelopment strategy will require changes in government policy, governmentsupport for major infrastructure development, or funding for specificprograms. The same is true in many other areas of policy which impact onquality of life in Wollongong. 5
  6. 6. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005The Futures Plan recognises that a number of the actions required to realisethe visions are already well underway - some are part of ongoing initiatives byCouncil, others are at the research and planning stages, while some othersare still on the drawing board. Some outcomes will be realised in the shortterm, while others will require a medium to long term period to achieve.Fully realising the visions will also require sustained and planned activitiesover the long term.The success of the Futures Plan is dependent on securing wide support fromthe community and stakeholders for its core visions and its key elements.Obtaining this support will require communicating the plan to the communityand seeking endorsements from key stakeholders. It also requires continuingthe engagement with the community that was established during theinvestigation stage of the futures process.Wollongong City Council is committed to the Futures Plan. It will establishinternal mechanisms to manage implementation and an external advisorygroup to oversee the Plan.Wollongong is now in a position to shape a positive sustainable future. 6
  7. 7. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY................................................................................................... 1CONTENTS........................................................................................................................... 71 INTRODUCTION......................................................................................................... 92 THE WOLLONGONG FUTURES PROCESS ........................................................ 11 2.1 WOLLONGONG FUTURES ........................................................................................ 11 2.2 THE PROCESS ......................................................................................................... 12 2.2.1 Steps in the Process....................................................................................... 12 2.2.2 Active Community Consultation .................................................................... 13 2.2.3 Research and Analysis................................................................................... 14 2.2.4 From Visions to Action.................................................................................. 14 2.3 GUIDING PRINCIPLES ............................................................................................. 153 WOLLONGONG – PRESENT AND FUTURE ....................................................... 17 3.1 WOLLONGONG NOW .............................................................................................. 17 3.1.1 State of the City ............................................................................................. 18 3.1.2 Regional Role – Illawarra and South Coast.................................................. 21 3.1.3 Relationship with Sydney Metropolitan Area ................................................ 21 3.2 WOLLONGONG’S FUTURE ...................................................................................... 22 3.2.1 Outlook.......................................................................................................... 22 3.2.2 Key Future Drivers........................................................................................ 24 3.2.3 The Challenges We Face............................................................................... 25 3.3 SHAPING OUR FUTURE ........................................................................................... 26 3.3.1 Sydney Metropolitan Strategy ....................................................................... 26 3.3.2 Illawarra Regional Strategy .......................................................................... 27 3.3.3 Wollongong Strategy ..................................................................................... 284 THE FUTURE VISION.............................................................................................. 29 4.1 WOLLONGONG 2025– A SUSTAINABLE CITY ......................................................... 29 4.1.1 Defining a Sustainable City........................................................................... 29 4.1.2 Local Action on the Environment.................................................................. 30 4.1.3 A Framework for Decisions .......................................................................... 30 4.2 STRATEGY DIRECTIONS ......................................................................................... 31 4.2.1 Visions for the City........................................................................................ 31 4.3 LIVING CITY .......................................................................................................... 33 4.3.1 Developing a Progressive and Quality Urban Environment for People 34 4.3.2 Developing Local Communities ................................................................ 35 4.3.3 Valuing and Sustaining the Environment ................................................ 36 4.3.4 Enhancing our Communitys Lifestyle...................................................... 37 4.4 INNOVATIVE CITY .................................................................................................. 38 4.4.1 Supporting and Developing the Regional Economy.............................. 38 4.4.2 Embracing Creativity and Cultural Identity.............................................. 40 4.5 CONNECTED CITY .................................................................................................. 41 4.5.1 Facilitating and Integrating Movement..................................................... 42 4.5.2 Access to High Speed Telecommunications .......................................... 42 4.6 INCLUSIVE CITY ..................................................................................................... 43 4.6.1 Access Equity and Utility .............................................................................. 43 4.6.2 Council and Community Partnership in City Governance............................ 445 REALISING OUR FUTURE ..................................................................................... 46 5.1 VISIONS INTO ACTION ............................................................................................ 46 5.1.1 Setting Directions.......................................................................................... 46 5.1.2 Taking Action ................................................................................................ 46 5.2 KEY ROLES ............................................................................................................ 47 5.2.1 Council .......................................................................................................... 47 7
  8. 8. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 5.2.2 Partners......................................................................................................... 48 5.2.3 Community .................................................................................................... 49 5.3 FROM STRATEGY TO OUTCOMES............................................................................ 506 LIVING CITY ............................................................................................................. 51 6.1 LIVING CITY OVERVIEW ........................................................................................ 51 6.2 DEVELOPING A PROGRESSIVE AND QUALITY URBAN ENVIRONMENT .................... 52 6.3 VALUING AND SUSTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT .................................................... 55 6.4 DEVELOPING STRONG LOCAL COMMUNITIES ........................................................ 60 6.5 ENHANCING OUR COMMUNITY’S LIFESTYLE.......................................................... 637 INNOVATIVE CITY.................................................................................................. 64 7.1 INNOVATIVE CITY OVERVIEW................................................................................ 64 7.2 SUPPORTING THE REGIONAL ECONOMY ................................................................. 65 7.3 EMBRACING CREATIVITY AND CULTURAL IDENTITY ............................................. 728 CONNECTED CITY .................................................................................................. 75 8.1 CONNECTED CITY OVERVIEW ................................................................................ 759 INCLUSIVE CITY...................................................................................................... 78 9.1 INCLUSIVE CITY OVERVIEW................................................................................... 78 9.2 ACCESS EQUITY UTILITY ....................................................................................... 79 9.3 COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP............................................................. 8210 THE WAY FORWARD.......................................................................................... 84 10.1 ACTING ON OUR FUTURE ....................................................................................... 84 10.2 MEASURING PERFORMANCE .................................................................................. 84 10.2.1 Tracking Progress ......................................................................................... 84 10.2.2 Reviewing and Reporting .............................................................................. 84 10.2.3 Measures ....................................................................................................... 84 10.3 SECURING SUPPORT ............................................................................................... 88 10.4 MANAGING THE PLAN ............................................................................................ 88REFERENCES.................................................................................................................... 89 8
  9. 9. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20051 Introduction Looking to the Future Wollongong is a dynamic region with a rich history - a history that starts with our Indigenous landowners, and flows through white settlement, industrialisation, the impacts of post war immigration and a period of major change over the last two decades of the 20th Century.2 Wollongong has been ever evolving and changing in its setting and character - its population, culture, industry and economy. With a population of almost 190,000, Wollongong is now Australia’s ninth largest city. In the last decade we have moved from a city reliant on steelmaking, mining and heavy manufacturing, to a City of Innovation undergoing significant growth in areas such as advanced manufacturing, information technology, telecommunications, education and tourism. The City has a strong base in creative industries which will also provide future opportunities for growth. Change is continuing as people, business and investment are being attracted to Wollongong and the lifestyle that it offers. Within this environment of growth, we also recognise the crucial importance of protecting those natural assets which make our region unique and attractive, in particular the escarpment, our coastline and waterways and our other natural and human assets. The City of Wollongong is now looking to its future. The Wollongong community has mapped out a new future for its region and for its people. The Wollongong Futures Plan embodies the approach that we will take as a community to achieve sustainable outcomes for the City and its people, for the environment and for the local economy. Wollongong Futures The Futures Plan is broad in its scope and impact, but at the heart of the Plan is our desire to develop a sustainable region. "In the Year 2025, Wollongong will be a sustainable local government area, safeguarding the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of present and future generations." Wollongong Futures is a strategic planning initiative that has helped us as a community to think about the future we want, to develop a shared vision, and to plan how to achieve it. The process has enabled us to determine the way we would like to see the City of Wollongong evolve over the next 20 years, and to identify the things we need to do to shape that future. The development of the plan has been comprehensive in its approach. We have looked closely at all the dimensions of Wollongong as it is now, and have assessed its future potential. We have examined the economic, social, and environmental factors that will shape our future. We have looked at ways in which we govern and involve our community. The futures review has been extensive. We have drawn on a wide range of research and analysis that has examined fundamental issues impacting on Wollongong’s future. At the same time we have involved our community2 The name Wollongong originated from the aboriginal word Woolyungah meaning ‘Five Islands’. 9
  10. 10. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005extensively in thinking about Wollongong’s future and how they want theirown communities to evolve.It is all part of the most comprehensive futures process initiated by any city inAustralia.The product of this work is a long term plan that will shape the future for theentire Wollongong Local Government Area. The Futures Plan provides avisionary framework for planning which works towards sustainabledevelopment in relation to our economy, our environment and the social well-being of our community.This report takes the futures analysis to its final stage by combining the keyresearch findings with the community inputs, in order to shape an operationalstrategy that links key outcomes and actions.Focusing on Outcomes The focus of the Plan is on delivering real outcomes that will shape our future and ensure that we are improving the quality of life of all our citizens.The Futures Plan is not just a plan for Wollongong City Council and its ownactivities. The Plan is a comprehensive long term vision for Wollongong.Within its scope are desired outcomes that will require actions by governmentat all levels - state and national, and actions by business and the community.As a Council, we will be working hard to secure the involvement ofgovernment (state and national), business and other regional stakeholders indelivering the plan.The adoption of the Wollongong Futures Plan means that we now have aholistic and long term perspective on the initiatives that are needed to createa strong future for Wollongong. As such it will be one of the major long termdirectional documents that will help guide some of the other detailedstrategies, plans and actions that are implemented by Council and other keystakeholders.The Wollongong Futures Plan is a living document. It is designed so that thevisions are re-visited every 5 years, reviewed and updated to reflect changingdemographics, new community needs and emerging opportunities. We willtrack achievements and outcomes on an ongoing basis, through Council’sStrategic Plan and its Corporate Plan Wollongong City Council is working hard to ensure Wollongong, “the City of Innovation”, grows as an attractive, progressive, inclusive city which follows the best practices in urban design, while also recognising, maintaining and restoring our many natural assets. 10
  11. 11. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20052 The Wollongong Futures Process2.1 Wollongong Futures The underlying principles of Wollongong Futures are sustainability (secure and renewable resources, a strong social fabric and a healthy environment) and inclusiveness (a system of involved community governance, encouraging participation, communication and coordination). The Wollongong Futures Project came about through community identification of the need to establish a vision for the City of Wollongong and an expressed desire for Council to commit to genuine community consultation and involvement in decisions affecting our city. Wollongong Futures is a strategic planning initiative of Wollongong City Council involving the community in a visioning process. The wider community was asked to consider the future it wants for Wollongong, so that a shared vision and proactive plan to achieve it could be developed. The exercise sought the input of people with wide ranging backgrounds and views, working in the spirit of seeking consensus. The final stage is the translation of the wider community aspirations for the future of Wollongong into an action plan that is specific, relevant, measurable, achievable, and supported by the allocation of funding and specific time frames. The Wollongong Futures Project was linked to a major long term strategic planning initiative, the need to review the Wollongong Local Environmental Plan (LEP).3 The LEP sets the parameters for long term strategic land use planning, and has benefited from the comprehensive analysis and consultation that were at the core of the Futures Process. At the outset, a series of clear aims were set for the Futures Project. The aims of Wollongong Futures were to: • Establish a vision based on the principles of sustainability and inclusiveness to take Wollongong into the future; • Formulate an implementation plan to achieve the vision; and • Establish a monitoring and reporting process to evaluate progress. To achieve these aims, the Wollongong Futures process was required to meet the following objectives: • Create an overarching plan that will drive subsequent strategies and plans; • Acknowledge the changing character of the City and proactively plan for it; • Identify a range of key issues and subsequent strategies; • Facilitate participation in all sectors (community, political and inter- agency); • Identify and build on community values; • Create general common ownership of plans, among key groups and stakeholders;3 The current plan was the Wollongong LEP 1990 and was formulated in the late 1980’s. The newWollongong LEP is being developed, with the Futures process being a major input. 11
  12. 12. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 • Design and implement (contribute to) a decision support system; • Develop indicators to measure progress; and • Develop a reporting system that will flow back into the strategic plan. These aims and objectives were achieved through a comprehensive process of research and analysis and community engagement. This report takes the futures analysis to its final stage by incorporating all of the key research findings with the community inputs and aspirations, in order to outline an operational strategy that includes key actions. 2.2 The Process2.2.1 Steps in the Process A major strength of the Wollongong Futures Plan is the active participation in the planning process by key stakeholders. This has enabled the development of a series of collective visions for the future of our City, and a series of actions that promote sustainability. There were a number of steps in the process and these involved extensive research, consultation and community involvement. The process followed was based on the Oregon Model4, which was expanded to meet the specific needs of Wollongong. The Wollongong Futures project had five phases, each of which asked one of the following questions: • Phase 1: Knowledge Building - Where are we now? • Phase 2: Knowledge Building - Where are we going? • Phase 3: Visioning - Where do we want to be? • Phase 4: Action Planning -How do we get there? • Phase 5: Monitoring - How are we going? As its starting point, a Community Values Survey5 was commissioned to identify what the people of Wollongong considered to be the strengths and weaknesses of the region and issues of importance for the City. A comprehensive review was undertaken of existing research and strategies that related to long term development of the region. Some special research was also commissioned on aspects of the regional economy and its future. Work was also undertaken on issues related to the revitalisation of the Wollongong city centre. The next step involved the CSIRO leading a series of visioning workshops with key stakeholders including residents, community groups, government agencies, the business community, Council staff and Councillors.64 The Oregon Model is a futures analysis framework that has 4 steps – Community Profile, TrendStatement, Vision Statement and Action Plan. See Ames, Steven C (Ed), A Guide to CommunityVisioning ( American Planning Association, Washington DC, 1998) P 95 Wollongong Futures: Community Values Survey IRIS Research June 20026 The work was undertaken by the Urban and Regional Futures Group of CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. Workshops wereheld in 9 locations across the LGA. A comprehensive report was produced on the Workshop results. Wollongong Futures:Community, Thematic and Council Visioning Workshops – Results and Analysis CSIRO 2003 12
  13. 13. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 A Community Advisory Group (CAG) was established to develop and refine the visions further and ensure that the outcomes were representative of the work undertaken by the community visioning sessions. Action Planning workshops were conducted with the CAG and key stakeholders in order to translate the visions into specific actions that could be measured and tracked over time. Potential lead and partnering roles were identified in this context in terms of implementation of major initiatives. A sustainability workshop was conducted as part of this stage in order to ensure that proposed initiatives were in line with principles of sustainability. The following diagram summarises the process. Futures Process2.2.2 Active Community Consultation A major strength of the futures process was its comprehensiveness and its capacity to engage a wide range of stakeholders during its different stages. Community consultation comprised a series of visioning, action planning and sustainability workshops, and the activities of the Community Advisory Group (CAG). The workshops conducted by CSIRO were held throughout the city and enabled residents to express their views, to identify key issues affecting their individual communities and the whole Wollongong LGA, and to communicate their visions and aspirations for the future development of Wollongong. Workshops were also held with key stakeholders including community groups, government agencies, the business community, Council staff and Councillors. 13
  14. 14. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 Starting from the Community Values Survey, workshop participants identified issues important to our future, community values and the trends influencing the City’s development. Linkages were identified between the issues, and all this information was combined and articulated as visions for Wollongong.7 The Community Advisory Group (CAG) ensured continuing community involvement in the project. The role and scope of the CAG was to: • Represent the community (including stakeholders) throughout the process; • Provide strategic direction and ideas to the project by actively participating in the various input workshop sessions developing the Visions and Action Plan; • Review the outcomes of each of the key stages in the program; • Approve the final product on behalf of the community (including stakeholders); • Ensure that planning is followed through with actions and that the plan is implemented; and • Provide links and feedback to the wider community.2.2.3 Research and Analysis As part of the process a wide range of research was commissioned to investigate key elements of the city’s future. Core reports that were part of the Futures Process included the Community Values Survey conducted by IRIS (June 2002), Regional Economy Overview, Leyshon Consulting (June 2002); Community, Thematic and Council Visioning Workshops – Results and Analysis, CSIRO (2003) and the Economic Development Road Map prepared by Buchan Consulting (November 2003). At the same time the project was also able to draw on and analyse a wide range of other research that was available. This included reports that were commissioned outside of the Futures Process by the New South Wales Government and others. The use of this research ensured that there was a strong empirical foundation for the future visions and actions that have been developed.82.2.4 From Visions to Action A summary of the Futures Vision was produced in late 2003 in a short report.9 This report outlined the elements of the vision and was the foundation for the Action Planning Phase of the Strategy. The Action Planning Phase concentrated on the identification and development of specific actions that would need to be undertaken to work towards our goal of a Sustainable City. As part of this process, potential partnerships required to translate visions into reality, were identified. Identified were partnerships between Wollongong7 Wollongong Futures: Community, Thematic and Council Visioning Workshops – Results and Analysis20038 Some of the reports included Wollongong City Structure Plan: Economic Analysis August 2003, HillPDA; Wollongong Cultural Industries Audit, Illawarra Regional Development Board 2000; WollongongEconomic Development Roadmap, Buchan Consulting November 2003. Cultural Policy Framework andCultural Plan 1998-2003, Wollongong City Council November 1998; Social Community Plan 02/03-05/06,Wollongong City Council.9 Futures – A Vision for Wollongong 2020, Wollongong City Council August 2003. 14
  15. 15. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 City Council and other levels of government, non-government organisations, community groups, business and industry groups, and residents. It was recognised by all involved that some of these actions could be implemented in the short term, while many others would be longer term initiatives. A comprehensive suite of actions emerged after close to 2 years of extensive consultation covering the development of visions, the identification of actions and the defining of desired outcomes to achieve a sustainable city. These outcomes and actions are outlined later in this report. As an important part of the action planning stage of Wollongong Futures, a workshop was held to review our actions and outcomes in line with the principles of Sustainability and our desire to be a sustainable City by 2025. The Community Advisory Group later reconvened to review and sign off on final actions for the Wollongong Futures Plan 2025.2.3 Guiding Principles Underpinning the vision for Wollongong and the Futures Plan are a set of guiding principles and values: • Our People: each person is equal and has a positive contribution to make. The rights and opinions of all are heard, valued and respected. • Innovation: solving problems in creative, flexible and an imaginative way to meet the diverse needs of the community and build a better and sustainable community. • Diversity and Inclusiveness: valuing differences that enrich our community and the positive contributions everyone can make in improving the quality of community life. • Accessibility: removing barriers that encourage social and economic prosperity and equality of opportunity for all. • Equity: integrity, fairness and justice. • Planning: sound planning to anticipate future needs and to provide direction that leads to positive and sustainable outcomes. • Community Participation: formation of interactive partnerships in the spirit of mutual growth and development, by the sharing of resources, skill and expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm. • Communication and Consultation: that is open, honest, culturally appropriate and undertaken with integrity to enable informed decision making. • Preservation: protection of natural environment and community assets, and respect for the sustainable use of our precious resources. • Strategic Risk Management: evaluation of risks and long term benefits to the community, and accountability for management of resources • Leadership: development of leaders to strengthen and enhance community outcomes. 15
  16. 16. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005The Wollongong Futures Plan is a directional plan that will help guide someof the other detailed strategies, plans and actions that are implemented byboth Council and other key stakeholders.Partnerships will be vital to the achievement of the vision for Wollongong.Just as it has taken the combined efforts of individuals, community groups,the business community, state government agencies and Council to imagineour future to this point, the actions emerging from this process will belong tomore than just Wollongong City Council. Indeed, everyone will have a role toplay.One outcome we are anticipating is that the community’s vision can bereflected in coordinated approaches between Council and other governmentand non government agencies, committing resources more efficiently andworking together for a common cause in order to create the future we desire. 16
  17. 17. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053 Wollongong – Present and Future 3.1 Wollongong Now 17
  18. 18. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.1.1 State of the City Structure Wollongong LGA has a unique structure. It is a linear city with urban development concentrated within a relatively narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean. The LGA stretches for around 70 kms along the coast. The proportion of urban land increases toward the southern half of the city with the northern suburbs characterised by limited development and restricted future development potential. The pattern of land use throughout the Wollongong LGA reflects the impact of geography, land constraints and Council’s Local Environment Plan (LEP). This unique structure has lead to the development of several distinct areas of settlement to the North and South of the Wollongong City Centre. This includes residential clusters in Unanderra, Warrawong and Dapto in the South, and at Corrimal and Thirroul to the North. As well as impacting on residential areas, the structure of the LGA has also influenced the location of manufacturing, retail and service employment. The pattern of development has also been affected by Port Kembla and by the large tract of land occupied by the steelworks. There is a strong concentration of jobs in and around the Wollongong City Centre, with most of the higher level service employment located there.10 The steelworks and industrial areas adjacent to the Port account for a substantial part of manufacturing related jobs. There are a series of retail centres located at Thirroul, Corrimal, Figtree, Warrawong and Dapto. These areas also include a range of local service businesses. Social Issues From a social perspective, the unique geography impacts on the accessibility of community and cultural facilities and the number of local facilities needed to serve an elongated community. It also has an effect on city cohesiveness, especially cohesion between its northern and southern communities. Like many cities around the world, Wollongong is in a transition period from traditional industries to a more diverse economy. The changes also generate some significant social issues. These include: • Economic impacts (unemployment, closure of traditional industries etc); • Demographic trends (increasing gentrification, ageing population, and diversity); • Changing social needs for persons who are disadvantaged (including housing, education, community services needs); and • Social problems (including local crime, drug use). The unemployment rate in Wollongong has declined from almost 14% in 1991 to 9% in 2001. The current unemployment rate in Wollongong (September 2004) is 8.0%, a decline from 9.4% a year earlier. However the10 Recent analysis by Buchan Consulting shows that almost 50% of jobs are located in an area thatincludes the Wollongong City Centre and the immediate adjacent areas in the north, south and west ofthe City. Economic Analysis of the Wollongong Central City Area Volume 1 Report, Buchan ConsultingDecember 2004 18
  19. 19. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 rate still remains around 2.5 percentage points above the NSW unemployment rate. Unemployment rates are high among young people and there is evidence of withdrawal of older workers (55+ years) from the workforce and considerable under-employment. These persistent unemployment rates present major social challenges for the future. A major continuing focus for the future must be on addressing these social problems. Wollongong City Council has developed a comprehensive Social Community Plan which focuses on those groups in the community with special needs.11 These include: children and families, young people, older people, people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Council works in partnership with government agencies and non government organisations to develop and implement programs that meet the needs of these groups. The Environment Wollongong has a unique natural environment that includes the Escarpment, coast, waterways and Lake Illawarra. It is also a major centre for heavy industry, with associated challenges related to ongoing environmental management and improvement and the rehabilitation of industrial sites. Wollongong City Council has taken a lead on environmental issues and a number of environmental strategies are being implemented currently. A strong continuing focus on the environment must be a major element of Wollongong’s future. There are major opportunities to develop new employment in environmental industries. There are possibilities to create “green jobs” through activities including environmental education; research into biodiversity in the escarpment, ocean and waterways; environmental management and rehabilitation; and bush care. Given our unique natural environment, the development of eco-tourism initiatives is another potential area of growth. The Economy Wollongong is at a critical point in its development. It has gone through a lengthy period of adjustment to the major contraction in employment in steel production and mining that occurred from the second half of the 1980s. The recent analysis by Hill PDA for the Wollongong Futures project highlighted the major changes in employment patterns. These can be summarised as: a decline in mining and manufacturing employment; a growth in services (retail, health and community services) and knowledge based employment (including higher education, business services, creative industries)12; a net decline in employment opportunities, which has generated a dramatic increase in numbers commuting to Sydney for work; an increasing emphasis on higher order skills and experience, which in turn has reduced opportunities for entry-level workers; and an increase in the participation of 11 Social Community Plan 02/03-05/06, Wollongong City Council.12 There has been significant growth in employment in education, which reflects the continued development of the University ofWollongong. 19
  20. 20. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 women in the workforce and the numbers in part-time and casual work.13 The analysis of industry and employment by Buchan confirms these trends.14 These changes in employment structure are significant and are highlighted when 15 year comparisons are made. Manufacturing’s share of employment has declined from 27.3% in 1986 to 15.2% in 2001. Property and Business Services increased its share of employment from 4.8% to over 10%. Education and Health and Community Services both had major increases in employment. Labour force characteristics have changed in line with these new patterns of activity. These include: the skill level of the workforce has increased as reflected in the percentage of the workforce with university and other post secondary education qualifications; a changing occupational profile, with an increase in professionals and managers, a decline in industrial occupations and a substantial increase in clerical and administrative occupations. While the growth in qualifications held by the workforce has been significant, Wollongong qualification levels are still below those of the Sydney metropolitan area on most indicators. Current trends in regional population growth, residential development and the shifts in the employment base are changing the nature of Wollongong and are generating new demands for services and facilities. A positive employment trend for Wollongong has been the growth in services employment, particularly the growth in knowledge economy activities.15 Wollongong is well placed to become a centre for the development of these knowledge based industries. The presence of the University of Wollongong is a major asset for the region and provides a foundation for future growth, particularly in research and development, through the development of the Innovation Campus. Importance of Small Business Small businesses play an important role in Wollongong. There are only a relatively small number of large employers, with 68% of businesses in the LGA employing less than 5 people.16 While this size pattern is broadly consistent with other regional areas, the development of small business will be an important consideration for future jobs growth. This is particularly the case in an environment where there is unlikely to be any significant increases in employment in large organisations in Wollongong. This situation places a major focus on future initiatives that can encourage growth in existing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and on creating an entrepreneurial culture that generates the formation of new businesses. An environment of innovation and business growth will generate new opportunities (across a wide spectrum including services, manufacturing and environmental industries), enable the retention of our brightest young graduates, develop the skills of young people and attract creative professionals.13 Wollongong City Structure Plan: Economic Analysis August 2003. Hill PDA P1114 Wollongong Economic Development Roadmap, Buchan Consulting November 200315 The knowledge economy is a term used to describe the newly emerging telecommunications/information technology/ creative cultural content sectors. It also includes higher education (teaching andresearch), business services and finance.16 Wollongong Economic Development Roadmap, Buchan Consulting November 2003 P 39. For adetailed analysis of businesses in the City Centre, including employment size see Economic Analysis ofthe Wollongong Central City Area Volume 1 Report, Buchan Consulting December 2004. 20
  21. 21. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 Culture Wollongong has a strong cultural base which provides a foundation for future development. Cultural industries include businesses and organisations that are engaged in the production and sale of cultural products and services such as film and television / multi-media, music and entertainment, art and crafts, design (graphic, industrial, fashion), museums and galleries, indigenous arts, publishing, advertising and architecture. The University and its partnership with Wollongong City Council, also provide the opportunity to enhance the Citys cultural industries.3.1.2 Regional Role – Illawarra and South Coast Wollongong is the major population centre in the Illawarra Region and dominates the broader region that includes the South Coast. With a population of 181,612 (in 2001) Wollongong accounts for 70% of the Illawarra region’s total population (259,511). Wollongong’s population is larger than the combined population of the South Coast Region. As well as being the major population centre, Wollongong is the key regional centre for manufacturing and for higher level services including business services, education and technical training, health services, and cultural and community facilities and services. Wollongong’s future is contingent on continuing as the “regional capital” for this broader region.3.1.3 Relationship with Sydney Metropolitan Area From an economic and social perspective it will be important that Wollongong does not become an “outer dormitory suburb” for Sydney. A diverse and vibrant local economy that is offering an increasing number of quality jobs is fundamental to the City’s future. The close proximity of Wollongong to the Sydney Metropolitan area is both an advantage and a constraint. Close proximity to Sydney means that a large number of people live in Wollongong and commute to jobs in the Sydney metropolitan area. It also means that students are able to travel daily to the University. There are some leakages from the region in terms of retail spending and entertainment and cultural spending.17 Proximity may also limit the capacity for some services to develop as they face competition from metropolitan based providers. Continuing pressures in the Sydney area also impact on Wollongong. Accelerating housing costs in metropolitan Sydney have meant that some people have moved into the Wollongong housing market, where house prices have been seen as more affordable. The changing coastal locational preferences of “baby boomers” make Wollongong an attractive location because of the quality of its coastal environment, housing affordability and access to Sydney.17 For example, the Wollongong Cultural Audit showed that 50% of cultural and recreational spending byWollongong residents is spent outside of the region, mainly in Sydney. 21
  22. 22. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 Continued high residential prices, congestion factors and environmental pressures in Sydney will favour new housing development in the regions, including Wollongong. Housing development proposed for Wollongong will also have an impact on the future of the region. The developments at Calderwood and West Dapto are designed to provide additional affordable housing that is suitable for families. From a sustainable communities perspective the growth in population will increase the requirements for additional employment opportunities in the region. There will also be a requirement for enhanced cultural and social facilities and services, and a need to manage environmental impacts. I There are other pressures that will need to be carefully managed. Limited open space and land suitable for development will mean that strong conservation planning must be followed if the quality of life and natural environment are to be valued. Key issues including water availability, waste, energy and vehicle use need to be considered. 3.2 Wollongong’s Future3.2.1 Outlook Strengthening the Regional Role The outlook for the region is for continued population growth with Wollongong having a projected population of 206,600 persons by 2026.18 The long term rate of population growth in the adjacent coastal municipalities is even faster than in Wollongong, and they will increase their regional population share over the coming decades. However because of its size, Wollongong will still remain the dominant population centre. With the significant population change occurring in the region, it is fundamental to Wollongong’s future that it continues to play its broader regional role. Wollongong is the regional capital and this role needs to be strengthened over time. With the increased population growth in the adjacent municipalities, it will be important that the city reinvents itself and is able to become the regional hub for knowledge based services (including business services, finance, education, research and development, environmental industries) and health services. It also needs to be a vibrant centre for retail, entertainment and cultural industries. Actions will be required across a range of policy areas to strengthen Wollongong’s future as a major regional centre.18 The projections for population change between 1996 and 2026 are for: Wollongongs population toincrease by 23,100; Shellharbour’s population to increase by 25,700; Kiama’s population to increase by6,400. In the broader region, Shoalhaven’s population is expected to increase by 45,500. 22
  23. 23. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005Building on Advantage Wollongong is now being recognised for its assets, as people are discovering its location, accessibility, environment and lifestyle.The following have been identified as key strengths of the area: • Location (proximity to Sydney); • Accessibility (established road, rail and port infrastructure providing links to national and export markets); • Deep water harbour; • Lifestyle (natural environment, housing quality and amenities); • Services (quality of education and health); • Availability of skilled and stable workforce with multi lingual ability; • Market size (large enough to support a range of business service providers ) and access to the Sydney market; and • Strong institutions (Wollongong University, TAFE and health and medical services).Wollongong residents are attuned to the environmental advantages of thearea, as reflected in a variety of community surveys. Quality of life and thenatural environment are major draw cards for an educated and creativeworkforce.Wollongong rates highly on some of the factors that influence relocationdecisions by business people and professionals.Wollongong is also viewed as having assets that make it a good place to setup and operate a business. The key advantages include: access to a skilledand stable workforce with multi-lingual ability; road, rail and port infrastructureproviding links to national and export markets; location within an hour of theSydney metropolitan market; and being a large enough area to support arange of business service providers.Wollongong needs to make the most of all of these advantages in the future.Constraints inhibiting the development of Wollongong relate to a perceivedlack of a coherent economic development strategy; inadequacy ofinfrastructure (central city, road, rail, telecommunications); limited availableindustrial land and higher quality commercial space; and concerns about theindustrial relations climate. Limited hotel and conference facilities are majorinhibitors to the business tourism market. The city centre is seen as requiringrefurbishment and revitalisation.To achieve its full potential, Wollongong will also need to tackle theseconstraints. 23
  24. 24. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.2.2 Key Future Drivers Wollongong does not exist in isolation and will be influenced by international, national and local trends. There are a number of factors that will be driving Wollongong’s future. These include: Population Factors • Regional population increase (including the development of West Dapto) and its effects on the demand for new housing and infrastructure. This population increase will provide a boost to the construction sector, while also increasing the demand for a wide range of services from retail through to education, health, culture and social. • An ageing population and its effects on the future pattern of demand for services (including health, community services, retail, recreation, cultural services). Development Trends • Revitalisation of the Wollongong City Centre and other centres within the local government area, including the conversion of “brown fields” sites from current industrial uses. • The Innovation Campus and the attraction of research and development centres to Wollongong. • Future development of the Port and its impact on support industries and manufacturing. • Improvements in regional transport and telecommunications infrastructure and their impacts on business, the community and the environment. • Pressures on resources and the need to make lasting improvements in the environment. Industry Trends • Global trends in core industries in the region including steel making and engineering industries and development of new export markets. • Technological change and its impact on industries in the region. • Impacts of business growth in the region on the demand for business services. • Continued growth in the creative industries. • Growth in tourism activity. • Importance of environmental factors and the development of environmental industries. 24
  25. 25. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.2.3 The Challenges We Face Securing a Balance Wollongong faces a number of future challenges. These include: • Managing and improving our environment – the natural environment and built environment; • Resolving social problems within the community; • Securing a higher rate of business and job growth in existing and emerging industries; and • Developing our cultural and community resources. The key challenge for the future is achieving a balance across these areas and securing growth that is sustainable in all its dimensions. Through active policies by Council, the State Government and other regional partners, there is the potential to meet these challenges and to create a new and vibrant future for Wollongong. An important part of being a sustainable city will be to achieve growth in new industries. At the same time a balance will be achieved with sustaining and improving our environment, both natural and built. Growing the Economy Wollongong faces a major economic challenge. The Buchan Report with its Economic Development Road Map identified 4 basic pillars of a long term development strategy for the region. These were: Growing the Economy, Changing the Place, Changing Attitudes, and Developing Skills. It also emphasises the need to integrate environmental, social and economic development policies. These pillars may be summarised as follows: Growing the economy – involves programs to expand markets of existing industries, developing new enterprises and attracting businesses and organisations to Wollongong. Changing the place – involves programs that improve the infrastructure for living and working including central city re-development, housing development, waterfront development and business infrastructure, land use planning, zoning and industrial land development, and developing local communities. Changing attitudes – involves marketing and communication programs designed to change external attitudes about Wollongong as a place to live, work and invest. It also includes initiatives to gain internal commitment to the future vision of Wollongong. Developing Skills – involves activities to build the skills base of the region through education, training and programs to develop an innovative culture that can support a knowledge based economy. The Road Map also identified the importance of the environment in the region – preserving and enhancing those aspects of the physical environment which contribute to the quality of life that Wollongong offers. 25
  26. 26. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 The Economic Road Map Growing the Economy • Business development • Business attraction • Industry clusters • Major projectsDeveloping Skills Outcomes Changing Attitudes• Knowledge economy Sustainable • Leadership• Innovation Jobs • Internal/external• Education Industry • Regional marketing• Training Investment Environment Improving the Place • Infrastructure • City centre redevelopment • Neighbourhood development • Industrial estates • Major development projects • Environmental projects •Sense of identity and distinctiveness 3.3 Shaping our Future Wollongong’s future is going to be shaped by the strategies and policies implemented by governments at all levels. These include the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy, Illawarra regional strategies, and strategies implemented by Wollongong City Council. 3.3.1 Sydney Metropolitan Strategy The future growth of Wollongong needs to be considered in the context of the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. This is a strategy being developed for the Greater Metropolitan Region (GMR) of Sydney by the Department of Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources (DIPNR) as part of a whole of government approach. The Greater Metropolitan Region (GMR) extends from Port Stephens in the north to Kiama in the south and has the Great Dividing Range running down its western edge. It comprises the Sydney region together with the Central Coast, the Lower Hunter and the Illawarra.19 19 Sydney Metropolitan Strategy Website www.metrostrategy.nsw.gov.au 26
  27. 27. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 The Greater Metropolitan Region had a population of 4.9 million people in 2001.20 The strategy is looking ahead for 30 years to enable planning of future housing, employment and infrastructure and to ensure sustainability in development. It will guide major decisions and plans by State and Local government and inform private sector investment. Elements of the Strategy which impact on Wollongong and the Illawarra Region include the Centres Policy and the development of Regional Strategies. The Centres Policy is a key part of Metropolitan Strategy. It focuses on ensuring that areas have an appropriate mix of homes, jobs, services (such as retail & recreation) and other activities. This is aimed at increasing the use of public transport, maximising the use of existing infrastructure and helping to generate local jobs.21 The NSW Government has identified seven centres in Sydneys west and four regional centres that form the basis of the Centres Policy.22 Wollongong is one of these centres. The strategies recognise that most of the employment growth will occur in services, with manufacturing growing but representing a declining share of jobs. The strategy also acknowledges that there are some significant development challenges in the regions. In the case of the Illawarra, the last areas for urban development have been identified as West Dapto and the Calderwood Valley. These areas require investment in infrastructure and are currently the subject of major planning activity.3.3.2 Illawarra Regional Strategy Wollongong plays a key role in the Illawarra region and also has an impact on the South Coast. As part of the GMR strategy, regional strategies are being developed by the State Government for the Illawarra, the Hunter Region and the Central Coast.23 These strategies recognise the complementary roles that the regions play to the Sydney metropolitan area, while at the same time recognising the need to strengthen the regions.24 These strategies take into account development trends, environmental issues, and the structure of the regional economies. Wollongong will be a major player in the development of the Illawarra Regional Strategy.20 Metropolitan Sydney is almost 80 per-cent of the population of the GMR, or 3.8 million people. TheCentral Coast (approx 300,000 people) and Illawarra (approx 270,000 people) are closely tied to Sydney,each with a little over five percent of the total GMR population. Lower Hunter has around 10 percent orapproximately 490,000 people.21 Planning for a Better Future, Discussion Paper, Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region , DIPNRSeptember 2004 P322 The regional centres are Wyong, Gosford, Wollongong and Newcastle. The metropolitan centres inWestern Sydney are: Fairfield, Bankstown, Parramatta, Blacktown, Penrith, Campbelltown and Liverpool.23 These strategies are being developed by the Department of Infrastructure Planning and NaturalResources with input from local government. These strategies will be completed during 200524 Planning for a Better Future, Discussion Paper, Sydney Greater Metropolitan Region , DIPNRSeptember 2004 P12 27
  28. 28. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20053.3.3 Wollongong Strategy This Wollongong Futures Report sets the framework for strategies to improve Wollongong and its long term prospects. The vision for the future and the actions required are outlined in the remainder of this report. Improving our future requires a mix of policies covering: land use planning, environmental management, infrastructure development; services provision, economic development and social policies. Environmental considerations must also be important parts of the Illawarra Regional Plan and the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy. Implementing the strategies to realise Wollongong’s future is not just the province of Council, but rather it involves partnerships with business, government agencies and other key stakeholders. However Council representing its community needs to provide the leadership to bring all the elements of these strategies together. 28
  29. 29. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 20054 The Future Vision 4.1 Wollongong 2025– A Sustainable City The following summarises what Wollongong would be like in 2025. Vision for 2025 Wollongong is a sustainable community, with people who are active, healthy and content. We all feel safe and connected to others. We enjoy a range of lifestyles and people. Environmentally responsible businesses are supported and successful. All our waste is turned into resources. A green network will connect the escarpment and the sea, connecting our everyday lives with the natural world. People are able and willing to participate in city issues and feel they can make a difference. There are high levels of community involvement, people respect the views of others and are proud to live in the City of Wollongong. Our management of water and energy resources is cutting edge and our air quality supports good health. Wollongong has connected public transport and communication systems that provide fast, effective services to the whole city. It is integrated, environmentally responsible and ground-breaking in its design. Our town centres are thriving places to live, work and play. Public facilities and places teem with people – the streets are alive and vibrant.4.1.1 Defining a Sustainable City A sustainable community can face the future with confidence because it has a secure and renewable supply of resources and a healthy environment, it has a vibrant regional economy that generates employment opportunities, and has a strong social fabric and active community life. This is a major focus of the long term vision for Wollongong. Wollongong Futures has developed a coherent vision for the City’s future. Sustainability is the defining feature at the core of the vision for this future, with the Futures Plan focused on Wollongong becoming a sustainable community. This sustainability approach is holistic and takes account of the interrelationships between economic, environmental and social factors in seeking to secure a balance and the best possible quality of life outcomes for all of our community. Sustainability is about living within our means. It involves managing our use of resources and balancing environmental, economic and social outcomes. An integrated approach to sustainability must take account of Wollongongs investment in social and cultural capital including the viability of its community relationships and values. Achieving this balance is often referred to as the Triple Bottom Line. When corporate governance is added to the equation we have what is called the Quadruple Bottom Line. 29
  30. 30. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 The focus of sustainability is on ensuring a healthy, productive, and meaningful life for all our residents, both present and future. A city is becoming more sustainable if it is reducing its resource input (land, energy, water, material) and its waste outputs (gases, liquids, solid wastes) while simultaneously increasing its liveability (health, employment, community activity, leisure activities, public spaces, land, pedestrian accessibility).4.1.2 Local Action on the Environment Sustainability issues have been recognised at a global level. The UN Agenda 21 plan outlined the steps local governments can take to achieve sustainability. The plan called for a "Local Agenda 21 Plan" to be prepared by all local governments. The 1992 Rio Earth Summit coined the phrase "think globally, act locally". The Local Agenda 21 Plan aims to establish processes at the local government level that will serve to integrate economic, social and environment considerations into decision making. The main aim is to involve all levels of the local community in decision making and action, and in so doing translate the principles of sustainability into strategies and projects that are meaningful for those specific communities. The uptake and inclusion of sustainability into local communities and governments has been slow and as a result the United Nations Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002 took a more aggressive approach. It moved to change from planning to action and the new term is Local Action 21. It has called for all governments to prepare definitive action plans to ensure on ground works are achieved to deliver an accelerated implementation of sustainability25. Sustainability issues have been recognised as important in Wollongong, with Wollongong City Council being active on all aspects of environmental issues through the development of environmental action plans, completion of a number of audits and implementation of a wide range of environmental programs.4.1.3 A Framework for DecisionsThere are a number of aspects of decision making within this sustainabilityframework. These include: • Considerate and careful – ensuring decisions have had a full assessment of options, based on the best available knowledge while still recognising the gaps in our knowledge and adopting a precautionary approach. • Holistic – recognising the interdependence between society, the economy, the environment and between the systems within council. • Innovative – seeking new and creative ways of reaching objectives. • Forward looking – recognising that today’s actions will affect the future safety of people. • Outward looking – recognising that Wollongong is part of a larger region and nation, and developing strategic partnerships with other organisations.25 The methodology used in the Wollongong Futures Process, the framework and the directions outlinedin this report are consistent with the Local Action 21 approach. 30
  31. 31. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 4.2 Strategy Directions4.2.1 Visions for the City The Futures process has generated ten visions or strategic platforms, each of which describes an aspect of the life in Wollongong now and into the future. These visions were developed through the Wollongong Futures community consultation process and were refined in the action planning stage of the project. These visions were further refined to be grouped under 4 strategy themes for Wollongong: • Living City – urban environment, local communities, natural environment policies, lifestyle • Innovative City - regional economy, cultural industries • Connected City – transport, telecommunications • Inclusive City – social plan, equity, governance, community engagement These themes take account of the 10 community visions (or focus areas) and link them together in a more coherent way. The four themes and what they cover are outlined in the table below. 31
  32. 32. Wollongong Futures Draft Strategy Report 2005 Strategy Visions Themes Living City Developing a Wollongong will foster thriving urban areas progressive and with innovative development that is based quality urban on principles of design excellence and that environment for contributes to a strong sense of place throughout the local government area. people Developing local Wollongong’s future vision includes the communities development of vibrant local communities and cultures. Valuing and Wollongong will enjoy a natural environment sustaining the that is protected and enhanced, and a natural environment human environment that is designed and developed in harmony with nature. Enhancing our The lifestyle of the Wollongong community community’s lifestyle will be influenced by the natural, cultural and recreational assets of the area Innovative City Supporting and Wollongong will have a flourishing and developing the sustainable economy with an increasing regional economy number of employment opportunities developed in the local government area. Embracing creativity Wollongong will be a vibrant, contemporary and cultural identity local government area which protects, enhances and celebrates diversity, inclusiveness, creativity and originality. Connected City Facilitating and Wollongong will have a well-planned, integrating coordinated and clean transport system that movement links the City to Sydney, to other regional centres and that provides access to all relevant localities within the local government area in a safe, convenient and affordable manner Access to high Wollongong will have a high quality speed telecommunications network, which provides telecommunications fast links for business and the community to the digital world. Inclusive City Access, equity, utility Wollongong will be a local government area that will be accessible on all levels to the whole community. In the future, Wollongong will consider access, equity and utility in all that it does and strives to achieve. Council and Wollongong will have an involved community community working in partnership with an accessible, partnership in city responsive and accountable Council that governance provides dynamic and proactive leadership to the local government area.The themes, policies and actions that are linked to each are discussed below. 32

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