Our advocacy program is focused on results and has undoubtedly improved business conditions for the more than 27,000 businesses that call the Illawarra home. 

We commission credible research to underpin our advocacy, and our evidence-based arguments to government have now delivered results in the form of infrastructure advancements, tax reform and regulatory change.

At a high level, we are focused on reducing the burden of government taxes and regulation, successfully advocating for improvements to regional and local infrastructure and working to increase the availability of skilled workers.


The Illawarra is an increasingly diverse economic region that contributes almost $26 billion to the state’s economy. However, for the region to fulfil its economic potential, it needs a strong united voice to help shape the political debate and ensure key business priorities are progressed.

Through a close engagement with all levels of government and leaders in business, the region’s premium leadership forum Illawarra First presents a sophisticated voice for the Illawarra with a clear emphasis on outcomes. Effective public policy must be evidence based, and so a fund comprising $1 million has been established to support our thought leadership and advocacy work.

The fund is being used to advance research and advocacy projects of region-wide economic significance, and Illawarra First members are deeply involved in policy development to influence our research priorities and inform our advocacy efforts.