Unanderra debate to be heard in Parliament

The argument over the lack of disabled access to Unanderra railway station will hit the floor of NSW Parliament again tomorrow when a 10,000-signature petition calling for the installation of lifts is debated.

Wollongong MP Noreen Hay lodged the petition in May, demanding the government install the lifts.

In 2009 the NSW Labor government announced $11.4 million for a station upgrade - due to take 18 months - that included new lifts.

However in September 2010, water, gas and signal cables were discovered under the planned lift pits, resulting in the need for a redesign and an increased project cost of $16.5 million.

The future of the upgrade was placed in doubt this year when Unanderra was missing from a list of stations to benefit from the new Coalition government's transport access program.

Ms Hay said as far as she was concerned, if $16.5 million was the new cost for new lifts at Unanderra, so be it.

"The Coalition gave a promise as far as I am concerned; they should install them as they said they would," Ms Hay said.

"The fact that people with disabilities, the elderly, parents with young children still have to catch cabs to Dapto or Wollongong to access a train in ludicrous."

Wollongong City Councillor Michelle Blicavs, who was the 2011 Liberal candidate for the seat of Wollongong, agreed that disabled access was critical at Unanderra, but denied that a promise was made during the election campaign to install lifts.

"I have continued to raise this issue with the minister and the parliamentary secretary ... but no promise was made during the 2011 campaign," Cr Blicavs said.

"In fact it was during that campaign that I discovered that the Labor government at the time had stalled the project because of the increased costs."

"I'm pleased we now know how much it is likely to cost and these funds can be lobbied for.

"I like everyone else want to see this project go ahead," Cr Blicavs said.


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