In a move laden with irony, the State Government has indicated that it may seek funding assistance from the Federal Government to construct the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said today.
Ms Watson has received a letter from the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Duncan Gay MLC, which explicitly indicates the State Government may seek funding assistance from the Federal Government in “future procurement processes” for construction of the rail link.
“The Minister has told me that he may approach the Federal Government for cash to build the rail link.
“He intends to approach the same Federal Government that knocked over the $50 million pledged for the Maldon-Dombarton line by the former Federal Labor Government nearly three years ago.
“It’s pretty clear the Minister doesn’t understand the complete irony of this whole situation.
“It’s like dog chasing its tail.
“State and Federal Liberal Governments only seem to know how to waste time and money in relation to the future of this important freight line.
“Both Liberal Governments are only good at always going back to the future instead of sticking with a confident strategy to get the Maldon-Dombarton rail link actually built.
“My Federal colleagues Sharon Bird MP and Stephen Jones MP had a very clear pathway to get this project built three years ago and pledged $50 million to engage with the private sector.
“Both Liberal Governments need to get it through their thick-heads that the Maldon-Dombarton rail link is a crucial infrastructure link for the Illawarra.
“More than any other initiative it will clear freight off the South Coast Line freeing up its capacity for more commuter services.
“But it is unrealistic for the Liberals to continually assert this rail link can be built without some seed funding support from the taxpayer if it also wants private sector involvement in building the project”, Ms Watson said.
3 February 2016