Shoalhaven News

No consultation but Nowra's Centrelink could be on the move

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Nowra's Centrelink office could be moving, and Gilmore MP Fiona Phillips asked why there had been no community consultation.

Shoalhaven Council has received an application to build a new 1200 square metre office in the south-western corner of the Stockland complex, to be leased to Centrelink.

The application also includes tree removal, drainage works, garaging, signage and landscaping.

Mrs Phillips said the new location on the Princes Highway would move the office away from Nowra's bus terminal and create traffic problems around Morton Parade.

“The community deserves to know exactly what is going on with the location of Centrelink,” Mrs Phillips said.

“The current location has good proximity to the Nowra Bus and Coach Terminal, something which is absolutely essential.

“Centrelink provides a vital service. We have seen how important Centrelink is for people, particularly during the COVID pandemic.

“Our Centrelink workers have been working around the clock to support people. We need to support local workers too,” Mrs Phillips said.

She has written to the Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston, urging the government to provide an immediate update for the community.

"It's the least they can do," Mrs Phillips said.

Morton Parade resident Ian James has been quick to raise his concerns with council.

In a written submission he said the development would have a severe impact on his street and its many frail and elderly residents due to increased traffic.

"This is currently disrupted during the festive season and other holidays as people try to gain access to Stocklands shopping centre and park illegally on this cul de sac," he said.

"Because of the lack of foot paths, people walk on the roadway, there are a number of people on this street with disabilities due to age or other reasons, who have had injuries or close calls- due to irresponsible travel at speed on this narrow road."

"I do not believe that locating the new/proposed Centrelink office in this area would be beneficial to customers of Stocklands, Centrelink or this and surrounding streets," Mr James said.

"If this does go ahead, it would be beneficial to close off any access from Morton parade to the Stocklands site in order to mitigate the disruptions.

"I also suggest noise reduction measures be employed to reduce the disturbance to residents on this and surrounding streets."

Image: GLN Planning / development application

Tags: shoalhaven, nowra, shoalhaven city council, Fiona Phillips, Centrelink