08 June 2017

The NSW Government must clear up confusion on the status of the concept plan for the upgrade of the Unanderra Station.

The NSW Government must clear up confusion on the status of the concept plan for the upgrade of the Unanderra Station.


Transport for NSW indicated in public comments reported in the Illawarra Mercury on 1 May 2017 that:


…”concept plans” for an upgrade of Unanderra Station are being drawn up. (Emphasis added)


However, in answer to a Question on Notice to Wollongong MP, Paul Scully, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance MP, says that:


The concept design plans mentioned in the ‘Illawarra Mercury’ refer to the additional concept design work completed following the suspension of works in September 2010.  This work was completed in July 2011.


So, which is it? 


Are there new, additional concept plans being drawn up for the Unanderra Station as suggested by Transport for NSW officials, or have the same concept plans already drawn up and completed in July 2011 just been gathering dust for the last six years as indicated by the Minister?


The confusion surrounding the Unanderra Station concept plans follows other recent revelations that:


  • 12 people have been injured using the stairs at the station, with two people hospitalised;
  • release of secret rankings, which showed Unanderra Station ranked higher than similar stations across New South Wales on a range of criteria;
  • Unanderra Station scored a zero on ranking for tourism despite 200,000 visitors to the Nan Tien Temple annually;
  • Altering the ranking criteria to include tourism in 2011 but excluding it in 2016; and
  • Premier refusing to meet the Unanderra Access Group and disability advocates ahead of the June NSW Budget to discuss funding for the Unanderra Station upgrade.


Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:


“The Unanderra Station lifts saga just keeps getting worse and more embarrassing for the NSW Government.


“The Government has been caught out playing politics with the so-called independent, evidence-based criteria which is supposed to guide decisions on station upgrades under the Transport Access Program.


“Now we have conflicting statements from Transport for NSW bureaucrats and the Minister over the status of the concept plans for Unanderra Station’s upgrade, including installing the much-needed lifts.


“Transport for NSW suggested in public comments last month that concept plans are being drawn up.


“The Minister in answering a question I put to him says that the concept plans were completed six years ago.


“I have said to the Government since the day I was elected, I don’t care who gets to cut the ribbon on the upgraded Unanderra Station.


“I just want to see lifts installed at the Unanderra Station so our elderly, mothers with prams and people with a disability no longer have to face the 72 step struggle to get to the platform to catch a train.


“The Minister has to clear up the confusion on the status of the concept plans immediately.


“I have one message for the Government: fund the installation of the lifts in the June Budget. 


“Let’s get on with it.”