MPs in war of words over roads

Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz.
Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz.

Revelations that a start to construction on the Albion Park Rail bypass is still 10 years away is one reason Gareth Ward should stop claiming credit for the Gerringong Princes Highway upgrade, according to Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz.

Mr Ward and NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay turned the first sod in July 2012, 15 months after Mr Ward was first elected.

Mr Kolomeitz said the bypass work was planned and costed under Labor but delays by the Liberal government had resulted in traffic chaos over Christmas and every Friday afternoon since.

"Similar delays in planning for the Albion Park Rail bypass and the Berry bypass will see ongoing traffic chaos in those areas for a long time to come," Mr Kolomeitz said.

"With an expectation of worsening congestion in Albion Park Rail for up to 10 years, it is clear the Member for Kiama's record on roads is not as good as he would have us believe.

"Like many people in the Kiama electorate, I drive through Albion Park Rail for work and I sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

"The existing Albion Park Rail bypass corridor was established under Labor and has been identified as still suitable ... 10 more years of traffic congestion is entirely unacceptable and is a poor reflection on Mr Ward and his Liberal Party masters in Sydney.

"Mr Ward should stop claiming credit for work under the previous Labor government ... he should get on with the job of front-loading the planning, engineering and design into a shorter time frame and get construction started."

Mr Ward said Mr Kolomeitz's claims were misleading.

"I can understand why Labor's candidate doesn't understand the history of these road projects - he only enrolled in the Kiama electorate last year," Mr Ward said.

"He wasn't here for the 16 years of failed Labor promises and commitments made by the former member and former government.

"It was the Fahey government that started the Albion Park Rail bypass project - not Labor. The RMS has confirmed this timeline," Mr Ward said.

"Secondly, Labor promised the Gerringong upgrade in 2006 and failed to deliver it.

"Finally, the Berry bypass has been talked about since 1955 and I'm proud that work will start on this historic project this year. In fact, Labor voted against the funding of the Berry bypass by voting against the long-term lease of Port Kembla.

"The Labor candidate talks about 'delays' through the Gerringong highway upgrade, but you don't just add water when building major infrastructure ... our community understands this is short-term pain for long-term gain."


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