Illawarra MPs have backed the call to see the Maldon-Dombarton rail line completed.
But Cunningham MP Sharon Bird said government at both levels seemed in no hurry to build the line.
The call follows the release of a report by advocacy group Illawarra First that supports building the line to provide a second rail link to Sydney.
The report also suggested the line be open to passenger trains as well as freight.
“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.
Ms Bird said responses during Budget Estimates pointed to the Maldon-Dombarton being at a standstill.
“There has been no contact between the Department [of Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport] and the NSW government to progress the Maldon to Dombarton rail link since Infrastructure Australia completed their assessment of the Maldon to Dombarton business case in February 2017,” the response read.
Ms Bird said the Illawarra First spelt out the economic importance to the region of the line – it would be worth $2.6 billion and create more than 1100 permanent jobs.
“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.
Keira MP Ryan Park hoped the report would “put the spotlight” on the Maldon-Dombarton.
“Let's be clear, I have no interest in playing politics on this matter,” he said.
“What I want to do is systematically work through the options and then advocate at all levels and through both major parties that this corridor must now be given the attention it deserves.”
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said Transport for NSW had advised that the line would not be needed until 2025 – the point at which conflicts between passengers and freight along the South Coast line would be “serious”.
“Having said that, it is important that we continue to work towards improving freight options for the region and you can’t do that five minutes before they are required,” Mr Ward said.
“You need to make sure they’re planned and delivered well in advance.”