Infrastructure Australia has, today, called for faster rail services from Wollongong to Sydney as part of its new Infrastructure Priority List.
Labor MPs, Stephen Jones and Sharon Bird, said the report highlighted the critical need to improve rail services between Wollongong and Sydney. The report listed line upgrades and cutting commuter travel time as a priority which would transform the Illawarra region; and support regional development and population pressures on Sydney.
Stephen Jones said the report made a compelling case for fast rail but the Liberals, both Federally and in NSW, had failed to deliver.
“I first took the Wollongong to Sydney train 45 years ago. It’s no faster today than the red rattlers back then,” Mr Jones said
“The Turnbull Government talks a big talk on regional development and better rail services but they have failed to deliver a single cent for southern NSW under its Faster Rail Prospectus.
“Malcolm Turnbull is cutting infrastructure investment with this financial year’s $8 billion in grants to states set to fall steadily over the next four years to $4.2 billion in 2020-21.
“This is not just an issue for the Illawarra - it’s about how we support population growth and development across the State. Illawarra rail is key to this.”
Sharon Bird said the Liberals had left projects like fast rail and the Maldon-Dombarton rail project sitting idle for years.
“Whether it’s Gladys Berejiklian in Sydney or Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra, the Liberals have turned their backs on the people of the Illawarra,” Ms Bird said
“The evidence is in. Report after report has called for better, faster rail services for the Illawarra. It’s time the Turnbull and Berejiklian Governments get their acts together and start to deliver.”
If the Liberals want to be taken seriously by commuters across the Illawarra then they must stop the empty rhetoric, and start delivering on the issues that matter for local people.