The single most substantial rail project to move freight from the South Coast Line is to build the Maldon-Dombarton rail link

The State Government has announced funding from the Fixing Country Rail program for two local projects at Shellharbour and Unanderra.

While I welcome this funding, the Government continues to ignore the single most important rail project to the Illawarra – building the Maldon-Dombarton rail link.

The Maldon-Dombarton rail link was started by the Wran Government in 1983 and canned by the Premier, Mike Baird’s father, Bruce Baird when he was the Transport Minister in 1988.

Only the Labor Party has committed serious funding towards the project since then.

The Government monumentally stuffed up a Register of Interest (RoI) process over 12 months last year.

Since then the Government has indicated it wanted to talk to the Federal Government about progressing and funding this project.

Nothing has happened.

In contrast, the Federal Labor Opposition at the last election and the election in 2010 put $50 million on the table as part of ‘seed’ funding for the project to be built in co-operation with the private sector.

If as Gareth Ward says today the Government wants to be about “improving connectivity and enhancing efficiency in the region”, it should get serious about finally laying the tracks to get the Maldon-Dombarton rail project built.

Building the Maldon-Dombarton rail link will shift freight off the South Coast Line and allow for increased passenger services.

It will also directly link the growth economy of South West Sydney to the Illawarra creating more new jobs and increasing business opportunities.


8 August 2016