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This report was originally published as Wilson, MGA, The industrail structure of the urban Illawarra, Wollongong Studies in Geography No.6, Department of Geography, University of Wollongong, 1980, 4p.


That the industrial structure of the Illawarra region is dominated by and heavily dependent on its heavy metallurgy complex hardly requires demonstration. As Robinson (1977) has shown, for example, six major enterprises, Austral ian Iron and Steel (A.I.S.l, Lysaghts, Tube Makers, Commonwealth Steel, Electrolytic Refining and Smelting (E.R. & S.) and Metal Manufacturers (M .M.), employ between them more than 75% of the region's manufacturing workforce and more than one third of the region 's total (male and female) employed workforce in 1976-77. As can be seen from Table 1, however, the range of industrial activity carried out in the region's factories and workshops is very much wider than basic metallurgy. At the level of the individual plant, for instance, a quite bewildering array of products is manufactured, ranging from foundation garments to fibreglass pools and surfboards, from plastic bags to pelmets and pyjamas, from low loaders to lemonade, from hats to home cleansing preparations and horsecovers and from textiles to railway waggons. Nor are all these other activities necessarily small in scale nor oriented simply to meeting the needs of a local market though many, of course, are both.