The response to Questions on Notice by Sharon Bird MP regarding Federal Government investment in local infrastructure further demonstrated that this Liberal Government is more interested in playing politics and being tricky rather than actually tackling the question of much needed infrastructure in the Illawarra.

Sharon Bird, Federal Member for Cunningham, last night called the Government out on their tricky responses to Questions on Notice regarding vital infrastructure projects. In speaking on a motion in parliament about the importance of transport links in the development of the Western Sydney Airport, Ms Bird made the point that the Illawarra is strategically important to this development and must be given attention by the Federal Government.

“The response I received regarding Government spending on relevant transport infrastructure linkages to south-western Sydney was a feeble smoke and mirrors attempt by the Liberals to try and hide the fact that they are not willing to invest in our region.

“The $233 million headline figure sounds great in theory but when you dig down what you see is that over $173 million of the $233 million, or 15 out of the 18 projects, were actually budgeted commitments from Labor Governments.

“The Liberals made one announcement for the Illawarra in the 2016 election campaign – funnily enough on the day after Labor’s announcement - for $50 million for the Appin Road.  They didn’t bother announcing any funding for the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link as they had already ripped out the $50 million in seed funding that Labor had committed to in 2013.

There is a common view amongst all the regions stakeholders that the transport links are critical to economic development and diversification for our region.  It has also been identified that our services such as skills, port capacity and broader services could be an important asset to the development of the Western Sydney Airport. 

The Morrison-McCormack Government needs to get serious about helping regions like the Illawarra to ensure we aren’t left behind.


ATTACHMENT: Response to Questions on Notice (Infrastructure) – August 2019.

ATTACHMENT: Speech – Liberals neglect Illawarra infrastructure (16 September 2019)