Give bypass access to Dapto, demands MP

The proposed Yallah interchange at the northern end of the Albion Park Rail Bypass that may not be built - which would remove southbound access from Dapto.
The proposed Yallah interchange at the northern end of the Albion Park Rail Bypass that may not be built - which would remove southbound access from Dapto.

It would be “cruel” to exclude Dapto residents from accessing the Albion Park Rail Bypass, Shellharbour MP Anna Watson said.

Ms Watson delivered a member’s statement to NSW Parliament on Thursday after the Mercury reported that the Dapto area may be cut off from the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

She also alleged the bypass was millions of dollars over budget.

Earlier this week, the Mercury revealed there were two different options for the northern end of the Albion Park Rail Bypass.

The less expensive option, which was still under consideration, did not allow southbound access from Dapto.

Those motorists would instead be forced to use the existing Princes Highway.

In her member’s statement, Ms Watson was unhappy that Dapto residents travelling south would have to pass through an extra six sets of traffic lights along the highway, while those using the bypass faced none.

She believed it made little sense to exclude an area that was set to feature as many as 19,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

“To overlook one of the fastest growing areas in NSW and give the residents of West Dapto zero consideration in this plan is not only short-sighted but cruel, considering how long this bypass has been planned and publicised in our region,” Ms Watson said.

“The residents of West Dapto deserve to receive the same benefits and opportunities from this project as the rest of the region.”

In her speech she pointed out the Berry bypass was “made accessible to the entire Berry community”.

She suggested Dapto residents were missing out “simply because they fall within a different electorate”.

The Shellharbour MP’s statement also alleged Dapto faced missing out because the Albion Park Rail Bypass was already over budget.

“I also understand that the cost of this project has already blown out by over $100 million, but the community of West Dapto should not be forced to pay the price for this government’s mismanagement,” she said.

She concluded by saying that southbound access simply had to happen.

“This government currently has two options available to them in terms of the Albion Park Rail Bypass, but their decision should be an easy one,” she said.