Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson today called on the State Government to outline a clear timetable for the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

“This last piece of the ‘missing link’ of road infrastructure along the M1 Motorway is needed and both political parties recognise this.

“What is now needed from the State Government is a clear timetable for the construction so motorists using the Princes Highway along the southern Illawarra can see what the State Government has planned, when construction will start, and when it will be completed”, she said.

Ms Watson made the remarks during a speech (copy attached) on a Notice of Motion by the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, in the Legislative Assembly this morning.

Ms Watson said that she was concerned that the funding arrangements for the Albion Park Rail Bypass was “needlessly complex” with $350 million dependent on the sell-off of the electricity network and $200 million from the existing road budget.

She told State Parliament that this “funding cocktail” had become necessary because the State Government had lumped in the Wollongong local government area with metropolitan Sydney and Newcastle as part of the electricity network sell-off.

“The Wollongong LGA cannot access the Government’s sale proceeds from the sell-off of electricity because most of that money has been promised to Sydney’s infrastructure projects.

“The Government, supported by the Member for Kiama, effectively denies the Wollongong LGA from any of the proceeds from the electricity sell-off”, she said.

Ms Watson also told State Parliament that the determination by the Australian Energy Regulator last week meant the State Government wouldn’t be able to realise $20 billion from the sell-off of the electricity network.

“This in turn means less funding for the Government’s promised infrastructure projects, including the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

“The people of the southern Illawarra aren’t a bit interested in the Member for Kiama’s self-congratulatory notices of motion in this place.

“They want a clear time table for the construction of this bypass.

“They want a clear indication that the money the Member for Kiama promised during the election will be available”, she told State Parliament.


7 May 2015