Badgerys Creek airport could fast-track rail link

An airport at Badgerys Creek will boost the case for the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, according to Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Stephen Albin.

The partially complete rail line, which runs from near Picton to Port Kembla, was recently put back in the spotlight after NSW Ports Consortium announced plans to use the link as part of its proposed modification to the Port Kembla harbour expansion.

Mr Albin said with the airport now in the pipeline, there was even more need for the line to be completed.

He said the airport would improve the ‘‘business case’’ for the rail link. ‘‘It would be great to have a freight connection with the airport,’’ he said.

Mr Albin said the rail link would ‘‘transform the Illawarra’’.

 ‘‘Maldon to Dombarton has been on the drawing board for many years – the airport will provide the further stimulus.

 ‘‘It does change the economics of the Maldon-Dombarton line that the area needs anyway.’’

Mr Albin said Maldon-Dombarton wasn’t the only infrastructure project in the Illawarra likely to benefit from the airport announcement.

He highlighted better road links to Port Kembla and an upgrade to Mount Ousley Road as possible projects.

 ‘‘I think there’s a whole range of opportunities that emerge as a result of the announcement on Badgerys Creek, especially for people in the Wollongong region,’’ he said.

 ‘‘Our view is part of the $10 billion infrastructure package should be spent on transformative projects such as increasing links to Port Kembla.’’

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