It is time for the excuses on finishing the Maldon-Dombarton rail line to end following revelations that a secret NSW Cabinet paper has concluded the project has an ‘exceptional’ cost-benefit ratio.

Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird, Ryan Park and Paul Scully have jumped on the revelations claiming it was time the Federal and State Government’s stopped putting up barriers on completing the 35 kilometre rail project, which was cancelled in 1988 by the Greiner Liberal Government.

Federal Labor Governments provided $25.5 million in funding to complete a feasibility study and business case analysis in 2010 to make sure the Maldon-Dombarton rail line was ‘shovel ready’.

At the 2010 and 2013 and 2016 Federal elections, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones pledged $50 million of foundation capital funding for the project in partnership with the private sector to complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail line.

During the Wollongong by-election last November, which saw Paul Scully elected MP for Wollongong, NSW Labor also pledged $50 million towards capital funding for the line.

While the Federal and NSW Liberals have continually failed to support the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail line, Labor has always supported it and put hard cash on the table to get the project shovel ready and underway.

The secret NSW Cabinet papers have confirmed that completing the Maldon-Dombarton rail line has a benefit-cost ratio of between 1.5 and 2.4, and take pressure off the South Coast Line.

Comments attributable to Sharon Bird MP:

“Labor has demonstrated, over time in both government and opposition, a serious commitment to the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.

“Linking the Illawarra to the growth centres in South-western Sydney is critical to our economic development and untangling freight from the passenger line will deliver improvements for passengers travelling to Sydney.

“It really is time that the Liberal Governments in Canberra and Sydney stopped putting up barriers to getting this project underway.”

Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP:

“The time for excuses on completing the Maldon-Dombarton rail line has been exposed as absolutely hollow.

“The Premier, as the Transport Minister, was told by her own bureaucrats that finishing this project has “exceptional” benefits, but she just sat on her hands and tried to hide that advice – it’s simply not good enough.”

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

“Labor is the only political party with real, hard cash on the table to work with the private sector to get this long-debated railline up and running.

“By completing the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, we open up the Illawarra to new job and business opportunities in south-west Sydney and finally end the conflict between passenger and freight on the South Coast Line.”