Albion Park Rail bypass schedule challenged

Kiama MP Gareth Ward says a 10-year planning process for the proposed Albion Park Rail bypass is a "worst-case scenario".

Shellharbour City Council has said it will spend $1.43 million on a new roof for the Shellharbour City Stadium despite the possibility that the stadium could be demolished to make way for the bypass.

The council's decision was made after Roads and Maritime Services told the council the bypass "planning, design and consultation is estimated to be a 10-year process".

Ken delighted by stadium roof decision

This followed a review that found the existing Albion Park Rail bypass corridor, established in the mid-1990s, was still suitable for the long-awaited bypass.

Mr Ward said he believed the 10-year timeframe was a worst-case scenario.

"I have been told planning and design will take a maximum of six years," Mr Ward said.

"People are now starting to see plans being drawn up and a timeframe for consultation provided."

Shellharbour MP Anna Watson said the NSW government needed to get moving on the Albion Park Rail bypass.

"We now have the report, we know the preferred route options, and hopefully very soon the community consultation will start," Ms Watson said.

"But this timeframe of 10 years before anything happens is simply not good enough and is unacceptable.

"The report, commissioned by the NSW government, has made it clear that traffic congestion will only get worse.

"There is nothing stopping the NSW government from front-loading all of the planning, engineering and conceptual design work into a shorter period of time, getting that completed and construction of the road started."

Mr Ward said the future of the Croom Regional Sporting Complex was a question that needed to be resolved, but groups would be compensated if land and facilities was taken for the bypass.

The RMS has formed a stakeholder group comprising sporting clubs that use the complex which will provide feedback to RMS about their needs.

There will be information sessions in March for the Albion Park Rail bypass project.

"The drop-in sessions provide an informal format for community members to meet members of the project team, ask questions and provide feedback on the project," Mr Ward said.

The four information sessions at Centenary Hall in Tongarra Road at Albion Park will be held on Saturday, March 1, from 10am-1pm; Monday, March 3, from 5pm-8pm; Saturday, March 8, from 1pm-4pm; and Monday, March 10, from 5pm-8pm.

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