The NSW Government must back in the Maldon-Dombarton rail project following confirmation during a Senate Estimates Committee hearing overnight that Infrastructure Australia will not recommend the rail link for Federal Government funding support.
The Maldon-Dombarton rail link has widespread stakeholder support in the Illawarra region, but remains a half-finished rail line linking the Port of Port Kembla with South-West Sydney 34 years after it was started.
Former State and Federal Labor Governments have supported the construction of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link since 1984, and in 2011 spent $25.5 million to update planning, geotechnical and engineering studies required for the project to proceed.
Both State and Federal Labor have pledged $50 million each towards providing foundation capital for the project to start again in a partnership with the private sector at the 2010 and 2013 federal elections and the 2016 Wollongong by-election.
Wollongong MP Paul Scully has today written to the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey MP, seeking her support for the Maldon-Dombarton rail link project.
Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP
“The Maldon-Dombarton rail link is the probably the most politically cursed rail project in Australia.
“It has the widespread support of the Illawarra community because, as people who live and work in the region, we can see the benefits to our Port linking up with the third largest economy in Australia in south-west and western Sydney.
“It supports faster train travel for passengers by freeing up slots on the congested Illawarra and South Coast Lines by ending the competition between freight and passenger rail.
“The Liberals at State and Federal level have always had it in for the Maldon-Dombarton rail project.
“Greiner and Baird stopped its construction and Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull took away the $50 million pledged by the Gillard-Rudd Labor Governments to restart it.
“The Liberal State Government ran a Register of Interest process for 12 months which only ended in failure in 2015.
“The dilly-dally shenanigans must end and the curse on this project must be lifted once and for all.
“The NSW Government must back in the Maldon-Dombarton project.”