Sharon Bird today welcomed the release of the “Upgrading rail connectivity between Illawarra and Sydney” report by the SMART Infrastructure-Illawarra Business Chamber which called for the construction of the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Line.
The key recommendations call on both the New South Wales and Federal Government to prioritise the construction of the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Line and to try and secure funding under the National Rail Program to progress the Line.
Economic modelling in the report estimates the economic impact on the Illawarra region of the constructing a South West Illawarra Rail Link would be $2.6 billion and over 1,100 permanent additional jobs.
Sharon Bird said that this latest report has backed in what she and Federal Labor had-been saying for over a decade.
“Here we have another report that backs in the significant economic importance to the region of the construction of transport links like the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Line to South-west Sydney.
“Just this week we received confirmation that, despite the economic importance of the construction of this rail line, the New South Wales and Federal Liberals had absolutely no interest in and had done absolutely nothing to progress the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Line.
“The State and Federal Liberals just do not care about jobs for the region, they don’t care about the economic importance of transport links for the region and they continuously demonstrate time and again their disdain for investing in the Illawarra.
“Federal and State Labor have consistently backed this project.
“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, NSW Labor also pledged $50 million towards capital funding for the line.
“It is time for the Liberals to get serious and start looking at ways to progress this project,” Sharon Bird concluded.
Answers to Questions on Notice (Budget Estimates 2017-2018)
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee Question Number 46. Departmental Question: SQ17-000216
There has been no contact between the Department and the New South Wales Government to progress the Maldon to Dombarton rail link since Infrastructure Australia completed their assessment of the Maldon to Dombarton business case in February 2017.
The Department is not aware of any negotiations between the New South Wales Government and interested entities to progress the construction of the Maldon to Dombarton rail line.
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee Question Number 47. Departmental Question: SQ17-000217:
The Australian Government has not committed funding to the Maldon-Dombarton rail line. Refer to Committee question number 46.
Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee Question Number 48. Departmental Question: SQ17-000218: