Federal Member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, and Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones, have challenged the NSW Government’s Budget announcement today of $21.4 million to “get the Maldon Dombarton rail line ‘shovel ready’ by carrying out an environmental impact study and design work…”.
“This is Federal Government money that we were pleased to announce on 17 August 2012. This funding was to complete the planning and detailed design work, with these pre-construction activities to be managed by Transport for New South Wales,” Ms Bird said.
“Barry O’Farrell and his Minister are pretending that the NSW Government has provided this funding when this is clearly not the case,” she said.
Stephen Jones said that this follows on from Tony Abbott’s whirlwind political fundraising visit to the Illawarra last week. During this visit Mr Abbott dismissed the Maldon-Dombarton freight rail link as an ‘urban rail project’ that should be funded by the State Government and advised the region that the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link “…is not one of our priorities.”
Ms Bird and Mr Jones said that the Federal Liberals make it clear there is no money for the Illawarra and the State Liberals try to claim federal Labor Government money as their own.
“We call on Barry O’Farrell to clarify why they are claiming $21.5 million from the Federal Government as their own in their press release rather than honestly identifying that it is Federal Government money,” Ms Bird and Mr Jones said.