Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson has today written to Member for Kiama Gareth Ward offering political bipartisanship to convince the Government to have real funding delivered in the 2017-18 budget towards the upgrade of Shellharbour Hospital and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.
The budget announced this week only provides the usual allocation of planning funding towards these two infrastructure projects promised by the Government at the state election 16 months ago.
The reaction to this week’s budget has been tepid at best with scathing media reviews published in the Illawarra Mercury over the last three days.
Ms Watson has called on the Government since the 2015 election to place a firm timetable for the delivery of the Shellharbour Hospital upgrade and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass on the table.
The Government continues to refuse to do so only saying the projects will be delivered by 2019 – a few weeks before the next state election.
Ms Watson says in her letter to Mr Ward that “it is unacceptable for political delays to continue to dictate the delivery of an upgraded Shellharbour Hospital and construction of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.”
Her letter also says:
…surely you will agree it is time to jointly work together to convince the Government that real funding should be allocated towards these two projects in next year’s budget so both can start in the 2017-18 financial year.
The time for continual re-announcements by the Government of these two projects has past. The people in our electorates expect real action, real money and a start to deliver an upgraded Shellharbour Hospital and start to build the Albion Park Rail Bypass in the 2017-18 budget.
Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“I am offering my colleague Garth Ward bipartisan support so we can together convince his Government that these two projects should get real money in next year’s budget.
“Political delays for purely political purposes only serve to ensure that patients at Shellharbour Hospital will continue to miss out on new health facilities and services and motorists on the Princes Highway at Albion Park Rail will continue to stew in increasing traffic congestion.
“Working together, I am sure we can convince the Government to stop playing politics and start delivering on its election commitments in next year’s budget.”
24 June 2016