FOUR LIBERAL BUDGET FAILURES FOR ILLAWARRA INVESTMENT

After yet another Liberal Budget Illawarra infrastructure fail, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones today wrote to Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Hon Darren Chester, to ascertain how he plans to progress the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link with the New South Wales Government.

Ms Bird and Mr Jones met with Minister Chester in October last year and have now written to him again to ensure he fully understands the need for this rail link and seeking advice on how to progress the project.

The completion of the 35km Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link will connect the port of Port Kembla and south-west Sydney, expanding business opportunities and creating new jobs in the Illawarra.  This link will provide a major boost to freight logistics in the Illawarra and south west Sydney and also relieve pressure for commuters on the South Coast Line.

Labor provided $25.5 million in 2011 for the planning, geotechnical and engineering studies and pledged $50 million at the 2013 and 2016 elections and called on the NSW government to match this funding.  NSW Labor has also pledged $50 million to build the link.

Last month Gareth Ward said he would “sort out” the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melissa Pavey, when she said the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link was not a priority.  Mr Ward said building the link was a priority for him.  He has obviously failed to convince his fellow Liberals of the importance of this project for the region.

Sharon Bird said that it was time both the Federal and New South Wales Liberals got their act together to build this vital piece of infrastructure for the region.

“Completing the link will not only provide great economic opportunities and create jobs, it will also relieve pressure on the South Coast commuter line for our 20,000 passengers a day who commute to Sydney.

“Enough is enough.  The Liberals talk tough but deliver nothing.  We need the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link built and we need it built now.

Stephen Jones said the Illawarra desperately needs the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link.

“The Sydney-Wollongong corridor is the busiest in Australia with over 45,000 vehicles a day. The Illawarra has only one major arterial road, crowded commuter trains and inadequate road access to south-west Sydney for freight from Port Kembla.

Attachment: Letter to Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.