The State Government has voted against a Labor motion in the State Parliament this afternoon to start the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass by the 1 July 2016 and 1 July 2017 respectively, Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson said.

The Government’s move follows a Notice of Motion moved by Ms Watson last August, which was debated in the Legislative Assembly this afternoon.

“I’m astounded that the Government having pledged the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass nearly 12 months ago is opposed to getting these two important infrastructure projects started over the next two state budgets.

“These two projects are very important to the southern Illawarra and have bipartisan political support.

“Why does the Government and in particular the Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward want to continually delay starting $800 million worth of investments?”, she said.

Ms Watson said that the Government has so far only offered very vague timeframes for starting both projects during this Parliamentary term, which concludes in March 2019.

She said that the business case for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital has been completed and the final approvals for the Albion Park Rail bypass would be sealed by the end of this year.

“The Government has indicated that both projects are fully funded in the budget, so why is it so determined not to use the next two budgets to get work underway?

“Why is Mr Ward, as the region’s senior Government representative, so keen to play cheap politics in State Parliament rather than improve health services and remove the last remaining traffic congestion point in the southern Illawarra region?”, Ms Watson said.

She said by the time each project was finally started it would be nearly 10 years since the Liberal Government was first elected.


18 February 2016