As RDA Illawarra releases its submission as part of the NSW Liberals’ CON-sultation over the sale of New South Wales poles and wires, the fiasco of not including the Wollongong local government area in its proposed Regional Roads Fund becomes clearer with the Albion Park Rail Bypass project.
“Under the proposed Regional Roads Fund, which doesn’t yet exist nor have any funding it, nearly half of the Albion Park Rail bypass project would be ineligible to receive any funding from it because it is located in the Wollongong local government area.
“The other half of the Albion Park Rail bypass would be eligible to receive funding because it is located in the Shellharbour local government area.
“The Macquarie Rivulet Bridge is the boundary point between the two local government areas.
“The Macquarie Rivulet Bridge is the symbolic divide of the NSW Liberals’ Regional Roads Fund.
“It’s a rolled-gold, illogical fiasco and the NSW Liberals’ don’t know how to resolve this dilemma”, she said.
Ms Watson said that the Wollongong LGA would be forced to fight for any infrastructure funding with Sydney, Western Sydney and Newcastle with substantial funding already committed by the State Government to completing the West Connex project.
“In the meantime, Shellharbour LGA will be forced to compete with other regional areas, like the Hunter, South Coast, Southern Highlands and Western NSW for a share of the Regional Roads Fund.
“The Nationals have even guaranteed that electricity poles and wires in rural and regional areas will continue to be publicly owned”, she said.
Ms Watson said that IPART figures show that electricity prices in the Illawarra region have increased by 35 per cent since the State election in March 2011.
19 September 2014