Reports the government focused on road projects over upgrading the South Coast line is “fake news”, according to Gareth Ward.
But shadow Minister for the Illawarra Ryan Park said the region was being held to ransom by the government.
The claim was made in an internal Transport for NSW memo, in relation to the F6 extension costs not being benchmarked against upgrades to the South Coast rail line.
“This is fake news, this is absolute nonsense,” said Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Mr Ward.
“There has been no cabinet directive to prioritise road over rail.”
The F6 extension is a pet project of Mr Ward, who has been pushing for funding since the Liberals came to power.
“There are roads that need upgrading, there are rail lines that need upgrading and I want to do both,” he said.
Mr Park was displeased with plans to place a toll on the F6 extension.
“The agenda of the NSW Liberals is now crystal clear: they intend boosting in every way possible the building of a toll road as part of the F6 extension while holding to ransom the improvement of the Illawarra’s rail links,” Mr Park said.
Wollongong MP Paul Scully said the memo was quite revealing.
“It’s now obvious that the Government is dragging its feet on fixing commuter rail congestion on the South Coast Line and refusing to go into bat for the Maldon-Dombarton rail link because they are interested in fattening up the profits on a toll road by forcing Wollongong commuters to pay for it,” Mr Scully said..