The long-awaited Maldon-Dombarton freight rail line would receive an extra $50 million if Labor was re-elected on September 7, Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced on Tuesday.
Mr Albanese hit the campaign trail with the Illawarra's Labor candidates for the second time in four days, visiting Kiama, Shellharbour, Port Kembla and Wollongong to hand out some last-minute goodies for the region ahead of the election.
In Port Kembla, he announced a Labor government would provide an extra $50 million for a "seed fund" to advance the construction of the Maldon-Dombarton line if re-elected.
The seed fund removes the need for the state or federal government to find the money to build the rail line, and is instead designed to encourage private investors to come up with their own plans to finance the track.
The 35-kilometre line is estimated to cost about $500 million.
Cunningham MP Sharon Bird said the announcement represented the biggest pledge of pre-election funding for the region and was the result of years of hard work by residents and politicians.
"We've got money on the table now to be able to invite interested parties from the private sector to actually build the line, at the point where all the preliminary work that we've been funding has finished," Ms Bird said.
Throsby MP Stephen Jones also welcomed the announcement, saying he already knew of two consortiums interested in funding the rail link.
However, the $50 million is unlikely to be delivered if the Coalition is elected next week.
When Opposition Leader Tony Abbott visited Nowra in June he called the Maldon-Dombarton line an "urban rail project" and said it was the responsibility of the NSW government.
Also yesterday, Mr Albanese visited Kiama library to switch on the National Broadband Network for an extra 4600 houses in the area.
He met a group of Kiama Public School students, who were using the fast broadband to have a virtual lesson at Canberra's National Museum.
"This town is now a digital town, the first mainland town in Australia that is fully hooked up to the National Broadband Network," he said.
"In the first area that was switched on in Kiama, we're seen a take-up rate of 70 per cent and those are extraordinary, world record numbers of people who can connect to the NBN."
Mr Albanese also announced $1.25 million for the restoration of Gerringong's School of Arts and a new historical museum and library, as well as $500,000 to widen the existing Shellharbour boat ramp and construct a new jetty.
These projects are funded through the Regional Development Australia Fund, which means the money has already been included in the budget.