Tomorrow’s State Budget must include real funding for the start of the $250 million upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
Despite 16 months since the last state election, the State Government failed to deliver any real funding beyond the usual planning money towards any of these projects in last year’s State Budget.
Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson has been lobbying the State Government to lock in a firm construction timetable for the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
These two projects alone are worth $800 million in infrastructure investment for the southern Illawarra.
The State Government has so far failed to lock in a construction schedule for either project only indicating they would be delivered by 2019 – a few weeks before the next state election.
Ms Watson has laid out a specific timetable for the delivery of the upgrade to Shellharbour Hospital and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
She says the Shellharbour Hospital upgrade could start from 1 July 2016 and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass should start from 1 July 2017.
The State Government has voted against placing a firm construction timetable in the State Parliament.
Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“Unless tomorrow’s Budget has real money towards the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and the construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass it will been seen as yet another kick in the guts to the Illawarra.
“The usual allocation of crumbs we saw in last year’s budget towards planning and bureaucrats shuffling paper from one side of the desk to the other just won’t cut it for the community in my electorate.
“It’s time for the State Government to put its money on the table in tomorrow’s budget.
“Why do the people living in the southern Illawarra have to wait another 3 years for the delivery of $800 million in promised infrastructure investment in health and roads by this Government?”
20 June 2016