Editorial July 15 2017

Readers have made it loud and clear through the columns of these pages as part of our Cut the Commute campaign.

The people of the Illawarra want a better service from our region to Sydney on both road and rail.

The NSW Government has been working on a proposal for the F6, but has been standing idly on the tracks in terms of a better rail prospect for this region.

And commuters and travellers have rightly had enough.

Now it seems the answer is staring them in the face and as much as the NSW Government doesn’t want to hear it the numbers stack up.

The answer is plain to see.

The stalled Maldon-Dombarton rail link must be completed.

Documents revealed by Fairfax Media have revealed the true potential open to the people of the Illawarra.

A cabinet-in-confidence document entitled Rail Corridor Strategy: Sydney to Wollongong produced in 2014 has rated a rail link upgrade for Wollongong to Sydney in its benefit-cost analysis as “exceptional”.

Exceptional, even.

In response to the findings, local politicians have called for action.

“If you untangle freight and passenger movements you get a much better outcome,” Cunningham MP Sharon Bird told the Illawarra Mercury, adding South Coast Line delays often related to freight movements.

“To see this put in a document … just leaves me with the question about why they [the NSW government] are so completely wedded to new toll roads.” 

This has the potential to be a complete game changer for this region and we need government representatives of every level in the Illawarra to be pushing in unison for this to be prioritised.

We must demand action and we must demand a better result for the people of the Illawarra who travel each day on our train lines.

We can no longer continue to accept inaction or being put in the “too hard” basket.

In this modern world we can put man on the moon, send spacecraft to Mars, replace people’s failing body parts and even cure diseases once thought incurable.

We can do things that were once thought impossible.

Surely, we can invest in this region, do the impossible  and finally, once and for all, Cut the Commute.

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