BlueScope is considering what it can do with the 200 hectares of land it no longer needs next to its steelworks in Port Kembla, south of Wollongong.
- BlueScope wants to reallocate around 200 hectares of land around its Port Kembla steelworks
- He set up an 18-month program to create a vision for the territory
- A Wollongong councilor says this represents an opportunity to create an arts hub
The company announced an 18-month program to transform land located mainly to the south and west of the steelworks site.
BlueScope chief executive Mark Vassella said this was to coincide with work to realign the company’s Number Six blast furnace and the transition to low-emission steelmaking.
“So we’re going to now, as I say, consult widely, think about the opportunities, but it’s really about activating those surplus lands,” he said.
“[It’s about] expanding how we think about it, and then really shaping what the future social and economic sustainability of the region might be. »
Mr Vassella said there are opportunities to repurpose old industrial buildings as well as potentially returning sections of land to the community.
He said it ranged from having excess parcels of land that they choose to sell, to being a developer, to giving and giving back to the community access to particular parts of the facility.
Mr Vassella said the company employed an architect and urban design firm to develop a master plan involving community consultation with First Nations people, residential and industrial neighbours, employees, council and the NSW government .
Ann Martin, Wollongong councilor based in Port Kembla, welcomed the announcement.
Ms Martin, who is also an artist, said she saw opportunities for creative industries such as filmmaking and art festivals.
“It’s very, very exciting.”
She said she recently traveled to Austria where she visited the Arts, Science and Technology Festival.
“We were shown around a repurposed tobacco factory,” she said.
“In this factory were artists, designers, architects, manufacturers of shops.
“While we were there, they were just preparing their offer for a hotel on the site.”
Bluescope advises that an update on the general planning work will be provided in due course.