As a local community, the people of the Flinders/Dunmore area have fought hard to have a new train station built.
After initial reluctance, the Liberals pledged just weeks before the March 2011 election to support the former Labor Government’s commitment to build the Flinders Station by 2014.
The construction schedule has been significantly delayed since the planning documents for consultation – supposed to be available by mid-2012 – were released in 2013. It remains 12 months behind schedule.
But instead of focusing on bringing the timeline of the station’s construction back on track, Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP revealed the Liberal Government intended to rename the new Flinders Station as Shell Cove Station.
Anna has been contacted by many outraged local residents in Flinders with feelings of anger and betrayal by the NSW government’s actions.
Early this year, it was revealed the NSW government’s attempt to rename the Flinders station to Shell Cove station has been rejected by the Geographical Names Board of NSW.
It has always been unacceptable for the NSW Government to propose the renaming of the new Flinders Station without any public consultation with the people of Flinders. The arrogance of the Minister for Transport, Gladys Berejiklian and Mr Ward around this issue, has been palpable.
With the decision from the Geographical Names Board (GNB) to reject the name ‘Shell Cove’, Anna called for the NSW Government to go back to the drawing board and actually consult the Shellharbour City community on what the name of the railway station should be.
In mid 2014, Transport NSW proposed the new name of ‘Shellharbour Junction’ to the GNB – now the station’s official name. 34 other submissions were also lodged by the community at the time, following public consultations on the naming. Oddly, Transport NSW appeared to be so confident the GNB would accept its proposal, that new signs were installed on the station’s platforms prior to the name being approved. The State Government has since refused to publicly release the other 34 community submissions, keeping them secret.
The new Shellharbour Junction station was opened in late 2014. However, in an embarrassing omission, the Minister for Transport Gladys Berejiklian has been asked to explain how the $39 million new train station was built – and opened – with no provision for toilet facilities.
The suburb of Flinders was named after the distinguished navigator and cartographer, Matthew Flinders. Along with George Bass, after whom Bass Point is named, Matthew Flinders is part of Australia’s early settler history.