Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, is calling for greater transparency by the NSW Government regarding the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
“Whilst I welcome this week’s announcement that the Government is calling on registrations of interest from tenderers to design and build this new road, I remain wary that planning approval for this project has been pushed back a year,” Ms Watson said.
“Given this delay, I am perplexed as to how the Government can be calling for tenders to build a road that is currently subject to design changes and has no planning approval.
“Changes to the design of the bypass came about during the public display of the Environmental Impact Statement last year and will include reducing the impact on agricultural land by changing the central interchange at Albion Park.
“It is also disappointing to see that on/off ramps at Albion Park are yet to be implemented into the proposed design.
“My electorate is sick of the Government looking busy: it’s time to get busy and take action. By the time the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass is finally started, this Government will have been in power for nearly a decade.
“I believe that the NSW Government is deliberately stonewalling this project and will delay the start of construction to coincide with the 2019 state election as a last minute grab for local votes.
“The Government continues to bypass my repeated calls to be provided with a tangible schedule for the construction of this key piece of infrastructure. I want to see a concrete start-date and the projected costs of the Albion Park Rail Bypass delivered for the citizens of my electorate, is that too much to ask?
“My only hope is that once the tender process is finalised, we will be closer to knowing exactly how much this project will cost and how long it will take to complete. I will be watching with interest to see if any local firms are shortlisted during the tenderer selection process.
“I am also seeking reassurance from the Government that it will support our local economy during construction of the bypass, by using locally made steel and employing local workers to undertake work on the project.
“I feel for local motorists who continue to experience frustrating delays along the Princes Highway in Albion Park Rail. Recent weather events that resulted in flooding in the area have only highlighted the need for this Bypass to be built as soon as possible.”
22 March 2017