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August 30, 2018

Today marks an anniversary which the residents of Unanderra and surrounding suburbs thought they would never have to mark – 2550 days since funding for Unanderra Station lifts was taken away.


The number of days since the funds were cut is now larger than Unanderra’s 2526 postcode.


In September 2011 when the then Treasurer, Mike Baird, delivered the first budget under the NSW Liberals, funds for the construction of Unanderra Station lifts was cut off and the Government marked the station’s upgrade plans “indefinitely deferred”.


The sign at Unanderra Station indicating that the lifts were coming is long gone, and seven years later, the lifts are no closer to being built.


In the period since people continue to struggle daily with the 72 steps needed to reach the platform; a dozen people have been injured at the station, some requiring hospitalisation; and stations ranked below Unanderra on the priority list have received upgrades.


Over the last seven years, three Premiers and their Transport Ministers have refused to restore the funding, despite pleas from the surrounding community, advocates for the elderly and disabled, thousands of signatures on petitions and global criticism of the Government when footage of a double-amputee dragging himself up the stairs went viral.


In contrast, NSW Labor remains committed to the construction of lifts at Unanderra Station with $25 million to be provided in the first budget of a Foley Labor Government, if elected in March 2019.


Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:


“It is staggering that the number of days since funding was cut off is now greater than Unanderra’s 2526 postcode.


“There are no longer any excuses that the Berejiklian Government can provide that anyone would accept for denying Unanderra Station upgrade funding – enough is enough.


“I don’t know what the people of Unanderra and surrounding suburbs have done to deserve this sort of treatment from the Berejiklian Government but they certainly don’t deserve it.


“There has been more than $25 million in stamp duty collected from the 2526 postcode over the last four years alone – more than enough to fund the lifts – yet the Berejiklian Government refuses to act.


“The Berejiklian Government might think they can get away with ignoring the needs of our community but I will keep fighting for an access upgrade at Unanderra Station until lifts are built.”