Media comments today by the Executive General Manager of NSW Ports Dom Figliomeni that the two consortia who expressed an interest in the Maldon Dombarton rail link believed they had met the State Government’s evaluation criteria places new pressure on the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay to explain the reasons for ruling them out, Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said today.

“Mr Figliomeni has indicated publicly that the proponents of the two expressions of interest to build, operate and maintain the Maldon-Dombarton rail link were confident they had met all of the State Government’s published criteria as part of the expressions of interest process.

“Public comments from one of the State’s most senior NSW Ports’ bureaucrats place new pressure on the Minister to come clean and publicly explain the reasons behind the exclusion of these two expressions of interest for such a vital piece of rail transport infrastructure in the region.

“It is simply not good enough after such a long 12 month expression of interest process for the Minister to slip local Illawarra MPs a letter only to confirm the whole process has been an unmitigated failure without an explanation as to why this debacle has occurred.

“The Minister has an obligation to make clear on what grounds the two consortia did not meet, according to his letter, “…all the published evaluation criteria.”

“Clearly the Minister’s view doesn’t appear to be shared by Mr Figliomeni, who suggests that the two proponents were confident they had in fact satisfied the evaluation criteria in full”, she said.

Ms Watson today released a letter she has sent to the Minister arguing that the Government’s decision not to provide ‘seed’ funding as part of the formal expression of interest process for the Maldon Dombarton rail link project was “ill-conceived.”

The two proponents as part of the expression of interest process have been identified as the Illawarra Railway Company and Century Custodians Ltd.

See: Anna Watson’s letter to Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, The Hon Duncan Gay MLC, dated 2 December 2015

3 December 2015