The State Government is refusing to publicly release the submissions lodged by the community with the Geographical Names Board following public consultations last month on the official naming of the ‘Shellharbour Junction’ station, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said today.
The Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet MP, has told State Parliament in an answer to a Question on Notice from Ms Watson that the thirty four community submissions will remain secret and not be publicly released.
“The decision to name the station has been made.
“Most people in the Shellharbour community still think ‘Shellharbour Junction” is a stupid name, but it won’t change.
“Why won’t the Government just release the submissions so people can see what other name options were actually proposed.
“I simply don’t understand the reason for all the secrecy unless the submissions clearly indicate that the Government’s preference was rejected by the community”, she said.
Ms Watson said she was pleased to see that the new station would be taking commuters from Saturday.
“I campaigned for this new station to be built when I was the Labor candidate in 2011.
“Despite the initial opposition by the Liberals to support Labor’s initiative before the March election, I was pleased to see it receive bipartisan political support just weeks from the March election in 2011 (see attached).
“I do note that the budget for the new station has blown out by $4 million from Labor’s estimate of $35 million when we announced we’d build it in February 2011 (see attached).
“There has been a bit of argy-bargy over the naming issue which could have all been avoided had the Member for Kiama not tried to act like a little Roman Caesar unilaterally renaming things 12 months ago and involved the community.
“But I’m pleased that Labor’s pledge taken to the March 2011 election that this station would be built has been met”, Ms Watson said.
See also: Illawarra Mercury article reporting Labor’s commitment to building the new station, dated 16 February 2011; and ABC online articles reporting the same election promise (before the Liberals), dated 8 & 9 February 2011.
20 November 2014