ONE local state MP has called for the Minister for the Illawarra to be stood down and the portfolio given to a representative who lives in the area.
Labor Shellharbour MP Anna Watson last week blasted Minister Greg Pearce's latest trip to the region, calling instead for Liberal Kiama MP Gareth Ward to be given the job.
Mr Ward, however, didn't wish to be drawn into the debate.
Ms Watson claimed, although she didn't always see eye-to-eye with Mr Ward, Mr Pearce had "no idea" regarding issues concerning the Illawarra and suggested Premier Barry O'Farrell relieve him of the role.
"On one of his rare visits to the Illawarra region today, the Minister simply failed to provide any information to the region's business stakeholders on the NSW government's priorities for infrastructure projects from the $100 million Port Kembla lease proceeds," Ms Watson said last Thursday.
"I was expecting him to provide key details of the criteria that would help decide which projects would be prioritised and whether RDA Illawarra would play a leading role in helping recommend the successful projects.
"He couldn't even answer a basic question from me in Parliament about how many times he has visited my electorate to meet stakeholders.
"I don't always agree with Gareth Ward, especially when he drags his feet on starting the Albion Park Rail bypass study, or when he runs around changing the names of train stations with no public consultation at all.
"But at least he comes from the region and lives here, unlike the current Minister.
"Mr Pearce comes down once in a blue moon ... there seems to be a lot of action plans, but not a lot of action."
Mr Ward said he was flattered by the suggestion, but didn't wish to be drawn into debate on the matter.
"I'm very much enjoying representing the people of my electorate," he said.
"My job is to represent the people of my electorate and fix the messes left by Labor.
"I'm not focused on ministerial roles ... what happens in the future, happens in the future."
Mr Pearce declined to comment on the matter.