The case is now well and truly clear.
A report by Illawarra First has clearly demonstrated there are solid, strong rail network options for this region.
Now all we need governments to do is deliver them - something that have failed to do for decades.
The report explores the option of freight and passengers to be carried on the long talked about Maldon-Dombarton line.
“It’s time to start building the infrastructure required to accommodate the growing economy and population of the Illawarra,” Illawarra First Executive Director Chris Lamont said.
The economic benefits foreshadow a worth to the region of $2.6 billion dollars and 1100 permanent jobs.
Those are figures no government, state or federal, can ignore any longer.
Cunningham MP Sharon Bird threw down the gauntlet.
“The state and federal Liberals just do not care about jobs for the region, they don’t care about the economic importance of transport links for the region and they continuously demonstrate time and again their disdain for investing in the Illawarra,” Ms Bird said.
Here is a perfect opportunity.
An opportunity to finally provide some large scale investment in this region which has been barren of any major foresight from governments of all kind for far too long.
The report recommendations are clear and they need to be delivered.
The report recommended _
- The NSW Government make a submission under the National Rail Program to secure funding to develop a detailed business case for the construction of the SWIRL and the upgrade of the South Coast Line.
- Infrastructure Australia and the Australian Government prioritise their consideration of the SWIRL given the significant potential economic benefits on offer and relatively lower cost against alternative options to improve rail transport connectivity in the Illawarra.
- In addition to constructing the SWIRL, TfNSW, Infrastructure Australia and the Australian Government consider (and makes financial allocation for) further cost-effective incremental infrastructure improvements to the South Coast Line.
- TfNSW fast track the rollout of the ETCS2 onto the Sydney Trains Network, which should improve the efficiency, safety and reliability of the South Coast Line.