The NSW government has revealed it will spend $1.3 million over the next two years to repair Lake Illawarra jetties - but they won't be available for use this summer, a Labor MP claims.
Member for Wollongong Paul Scully has claimed the NSW government has refused to publicly release a report on the condition and repair of Lake Illawarra jetties.
As summer approaches, the Labor MP said the community had a right to use the Lake Illawarra foreshore and its facilities, and to know why they were closed in the first place.
Mr Scully cited several jetties on the Lake Illawarra foreshore within his electorate as examples.
This included jetties at Warrawong and Lake Heights closed off to public access for more than a year.
Mr Scully said he made an application under freedom of information laws for the release of a report dealing with an assessment of Lake Illawarra infrastructure.
He said the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) had notified him that his application had been rejected.
"The government quietly closed the jetties, and have given no real reason except a vague reasoning of safety... And no idea of when or if they even intend to fix it," Mr Scully said. "The Department and the Minister have been sitting on an assessment report to repair these facilities and re-open them so the public can enjoy Lake Illawarra during this summer.
"But instead the jetties remain locked up from the public again this summer and continue to rot away on the picturesque Lake Illawarra... All because the government wants to keep a report secret."
A spokesperson for the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Crown Lands said an engineering assessment report was commissioned to assess the condition of Lake Illawarra public jetties to set priorities for infrastructure improvements.
"A number of ageing jetties were identified as needing safety upgrades," the spokesperson said.
"The NSW government will be allocating $1.3 million from its COVID-19 stimulus program to support upgrade and repair work on Lake Illawarra jetties so that they can continue to be used by the community.
"The stimulus funding will see $650,000 allocated this financial year and $650,000 next financial year which will be targeted at priority jetty repairs and upgrades."
The spokesperson said Mr Scully was advised in his GIPA application that he could read the engineering assessment report on appointment with the department.
"The department made a request to the consultant that prepared the report for it to be publicly released, but it was not granted and the Copyright Act prevents it being released without their permission."
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