On Friday, I wrote to the Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP offering bipartisan political support to convince the State Government to have real money delivered in the 2017-18 Budget towards the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

Mr Ward has since been in contact rejecting my offer.

Unfortunately, Mr Ward stubbornly refuses to heed the clear message provided by the Illawarra community that it was underwhelmed by last week’s state budget.

Instead, Mr Ward – as Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast – is only interested in playing politics.

He is prepared to deny patients access to new health facilities and services by upgrading Shellharbour Hospital, and letting motorists on the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail stew in increasing traffic congestion for at least another three years.

The Government has offered no timetable for the start of work on either the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital or the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

It only claims it will “deliver” this $800 million combined investment by 2019 – conveniently a few weeks before the next state election.

This is simply not good enough for the people of the southern Illawarra.

I urge Mr Ward to stop playing politics with people’s lives and to reconsider his rejection of working with me so together we can convince the Government to provide real money in next year’s budget and get cracking on the delivering of health and road infrastructure investment in the southern Illawarra.


27 June 2016