Question: What do you think is the single most crucial piece of infrastructure that the Illawarra needs?
(ALP) Senate candidate for NSW
The Maldon-Dombarton freight rail link, between the Main South line near Picton and Port Kembla, will significantly improve freight access for the Illawarra. This will have a direct and tangible effect on growth in the region. A feasibility study gave the following reasons: increases in coal and other freight; increased congestion on the Illawarra line; heavy truck traffic on Mt Ousley; encouragement of investment in the Port Kembla area; and reduced noise and pollution in urban areas. Such scope for opportunity and growth in the Illawarra was recognised by the federal government in its allocation of $25.5 million under the Nation Building Program to advance the project.
Sharon Bird (ALP)
Building the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, like the roll-out of the NBN, is transformational infrastructure for the Illawarra region.
The Maldon-Dombarton rail link will become a new gateway between Wollongong and the third-biggest economy in Australia: south-west Sydney.
The regional asset of the port of Port Kembla can become the port of choice for the export businesses of south-west Sydney.
Labor has put $50 million on the table to work with the private sector to build this rail line.
When I started campaigning for Maldon-Dombarton seven years ago, many people thought I was dreaming.
Now it's on the way and every candidate supports it.
John Flanagan (Non-Custodial Parents Party)
Completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link. The estimated cost is $624 million to $667 million (reference ACIL Tasman "Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link Feasibility Study", September 2011).
From the ACIL report, the reasons for the completion of the railway line would be: Increased exports through Port Kembla. Less goods trains and more rail passenger services to and from Sydney. Reduced truck traffic on Mount Ousley. More investment in the Illawarra area. Reduced noise and air pollution.
As a result, all residents of the Illawarra would benefit from the completion of the link.
Chris Atlee (Palmer United Party)
I believe the most crucial piece of infrastructure for the long term is the F6 extension. It will make the region more accessible to business by making us a shorter drive from Sydney Airport. Being more accessible, we will be able to compete with areas such as Western Sydney and the Macarthur. More business in the area means more local jobs. The extension will also cut the travel time for local residents who currently commute, giving them more time with families.
Philip Clifford (Liberal)
The Illawarra has long been neglected by Labor, which has held the region back in terms of infrastructure and services delivery. Transport connectivity for both commuter and freight is incredibly important to our region. We need to get heavy haulage off major congested roads and onto other transport routes to increase safety and improve commuter times. This will improve the economy and create more jobs.
I believe that with hard work we can achieve great results for the Illawarra and I will provide strong representation for the people of Cunningham to ensure that our region gets the infrastructure and attention it deserves.
Helen Wilson (Greens)
The Greens want better public transport so my choice is to improve the rail line to Sydney. Many Cunningham residents travel to Sydney daily. The long journey is burdensome and is causing a "brain drain" from the region. Infrastructure NSW has recommended that there should be a 60-minute commute from Wollongong to Central and has costed a pilot program at $100 million. This could be funded through the next round of Infrastructure Australia grants if there was a strong Cunningham advocate. There should also be a separate freight line.
Stephen Jones (ALP)
The NBN is critical to the Illawarra's future: fibre optic broadband, connected to every home and business.
Broadband internet is already changing the way we work, do business and access health, education and entertainment services.
Six years ago, no-one had heard of a smartphone. Today, they are everywhere and are central to our daily lives. Every day, new apps are being developed. Technology is driving our future and building a new economy.
Yes, we need the national broadband network. Labor says, build it once, build it right and build fibre optic. Otherwise we are left behind.
Peter Moran (Greens)
A well-resourced education sector can allow the transition to the new industries that will provide the future of employment growth in the region, as well as providing the opportunities for the current population to increase their skills level and allow them to participate in the workforce to the greatest extent possible.
The Greens are the only party that supports full implementation of the Gonski plan. We have policies, fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, which provide certainty that our plan for education reform is deliverable.
Larissa Mallinson (Liberal)
A bypass for the Princes Highway at Albion Park is the most important infrastructure priority in the electorate of Throsby.
I have strongly argued the case for investment in this upgrade and if elected as federal member for Throsby, I will step up my efforts and continue to fight for funding
May King (Palmer United Party)
The Illawarra needs better road access to Dapto and Kanahooka. Off ramps and on ramps to help residents in their daily life. The Maldon-Dombarton rail link would also help create jobs.
Wayne Hartman (Non-Custodial Parents Party)
The Illawarra needs a lot of infrastructure. It needs the Albion Park Rail bypass, the Dombarton to Port Kembla Rail link, the on-off ramps of the F6 at Dapto and the bridge over the railway line at Fowlers Road.
Paul Matters (Independent)
The most crucial infrastructure we need here in the Illawarra is an integrated public transport system of a light rail network linked to a fast train service to Sydney. An Illawarra light rail is desperately needed to provide an efficient and environmentally sustainable feeder infrastructure from Horsley through Berkeley, Warrawong and into the Wollongong CBD.
This feeder network would link with an upgraded fast-train system, which would provide a no more than 60-minute journey from Wollongong to Sydney. It would be funded under the Building Australia Fund.
Neil Reilly (ALP)
The NBN. The Illawarra's unique location makes us one of the most attractive places to live, work and play. With proper connectivity to the rest of the world, we will achieve better healthcare outcomes, improved education options and a universal appeal to small-footprint, high-profit businesses to operate in our area. We can no longer deny ourselves and our children the bright and prosperous future we deserve. To stop this with inferior technology would be a crime against our future.
Ann Sudmalis (Liberal)
At the outset, there are many crucial pieces of infrastructure for the Illawarra. If I'm asked to single out one vital project for the Gilmore electorate, however, it would have to be the duplication of the Princes Highway between Nowra and Batemans Bay. Then the construction of a third crossing over Shoalhaven River. Without a third bridge, Nowra will become the worst freight and passenger bottleneck in southern NSW by 2020 and that will affect all of Gilmore. These are upgrades I'm committed to fighting for, and Malcolm Turnbull and I will be making an exciting announcement about the future of the Princes Highway today.