Unanderra station will get three new lifts as part of a multi-million upgrade, promised Transport Minister Andrew Constance.
But Wollongong MP Paul Scully said the government may not start work on the upgrade for another four years.
If the Liberal government is re-elected in March, Mr Constance said $20 million for the upgrade would be delivered within the next term.
“Unanderra station will get the lifts it needs to ensure all customers, including those with a disability, the less mobile and parents with prams can easily access the platform,” Mr Constance said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra Gareth Ward said the upgrade was something Labor had “completely bungled” – a reference to the Keneally government’s promise to build lifts.
“As someone with a disability, I deeply understand the calls by locals for better access and today we can confirm that we’ll get it done,” Mr Ward said.
The community and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback on proposed designs for Unanderra as part of the planning approval process.
READ MORE: Lifts were decades in the making
This announcement means Unanderra station will get lifts no matter which party wins the election, with Labor also promising $25 million for the lifts.
Mr Scully declared the government’s commitment as a “huge victory” for the local community.
The Wollongong MP noted a key point of difference with the two funding pledges, stating Labor would have the funding in the first budget while the government has said it would be “delivered in the next term”, which could run for four years.
“We could be waiting until 2023 to see anything happen at Unanderra station or any money flow for the Unanderra lifts if the Berejiklian government is re-elected,” Mr Scully said.
Unanderra Access Group co-convenor Rebecca Lachlan was pleased to hear of the funding commitment.
“I’m glad that they’ve finally come to the table and said they’re prepared to do something,” Ms Lachlan said.
But she wouldn’t believe it until she saw a sign – an actual sign.
“A sign with a commencement date to let people know it’s actually going to happen, that would be great,” she said.
“Then when there is the beginning of work being done down at the station, then I’ll be satisfied that something is actually going to happen.”