WATSON CALLS FOR ALBION PARK RAIL BYPASS TIMETABLE

MEDIA RELEASE


The Minister for Roads, Maritime Services and Freight will be required to provide a precise timetable for the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass in the 2015-16 Budget following a Notice of Motion tabled in the State Parliament by Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, today.

“The State Government made an election commitment to the people of the Illawarra that the Albion Park Rail Bypass would be constructed.

“My motion seeks for the Minister for Roads, Maritime Services and Freight to provide a precise timetable for the delivery of this infrastructure project in the Budget in June.

“My motion also calls on the Minister to explain how the Albion Park Rail Bypass will be funded if the Government cannot achieve the sale of the electricity network.

“By the Government’s admission, $350 million for the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass must come from the sale of the electricity network.

“It’s time the Government came clean with the people of the Illawarra and explained a precise timetable for the delivery of this project and what plans are in place for the project to proceed if it can’t achieve its sale price for the electricity network”, she said.

Ms Watson said that the determination by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to cut electricity costs placed the Government’s anticipated $20 billion sale proceeds at risk.

The Government has confirmed that it is supporting an appeal to the AER determination by the State’s electricity network providers meaning electricity prices will stay higher for longer.

Ms Watson said that there was speculation that construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass would not even start until after 2018 or 2019.

“The RMS has indicated that the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass will take nearly 4 years to build.

“Unless we can nail down a firm timetable on when this project will start and finish, there can be no confidence that the Government will deliver it as promised”, she said.

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