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PARLIAMENTARY REPORT GIVES SHOT IN ARM TO MALDON-DOMBARTON PROJECT AND CONSISTENT DEFINITION OF REGION

June 07, 2018

A new Parliamentary Committee report has today made key recommendations to the NSW Government supporting the need for the completion of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, providing consistent definitions of regional areas and better transport connections to support tourism.

 

The report, Regional Development and a Global Sydney, was published and tabled by the Legislative Council Standing Committee on State Development earlier today.

 

The report recommends that the “NSW Government explore options to bring forward construction of the Maldon to Dombarton railway line…”

 

The Committee noted “we recognise the challenges in defining regional New South Wales with multiple inconsistent definitions being established by each of the different levels of government.”

 

It recommends that “the NSW Government work with local government and the Australian Government to consider proposals through which greater consistency in defining the regions can be achieved.”

 

The Committee report also notes the need for better transport connections between the regions and Sydney, and further infrastructure investments to “better support cruise ship tourism.”

 

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully MP, welcomed the report’s recommendations and said they reflect his position on getting the NSW Government to act on completing the Maldon-Dombarton rail project, developing a consistent definition on major centres like Wollongong, and improving transport connections.

 

Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:

 

“This Parliamentary Committee report provides a much-needed shot in the arm to important projects that are crucial to the economic prosperity of Wollongong and the Illawarra region.

 

“The report recognises the importance of the need to complete construction of the Maldon-Dombarton rail link and urges bringing forward its construction.

 

“We know from the release of the Government’s own business case, which I had to fight to obtain, that unless Maldon-Dombarton is completed, within the next five years, there will be massive congestion of the South Coast Line and on roads in and out of the Illawarra with the resulting gridlock threatening the viability of Port Kembla.

 

“The report recommends that we need the develop a consistent definition of the regions so we don’t continue to see Wollongong – a major centre in its own right – lumped into a funding fight with Western Sydney, Global Sydney and Newcastle.

 

“We’ve already lost out on so many funding opportunities because we are classed as a ‘metropolitan area’.

 

“The report also recommends developing better transport links, including infrastructure to support the cruise ship and tourism industries.

 

“We are still waiting for the NSW Government to release the 10 years Cruise Development Plan, which originally didn’t even include consideration of Port Kembla until I embarrassed the Government to include it during the Wollongong by-election.

 

“The key message to the Berejiklian Government from the Committee’s report is to stop ignoring the regions and the projects that are key to their future economic prosperity.

 

“In the Illawarra we need a fair shot at funding programs and we need to invest in key transport infrastructure like completing the Maldon-Dombarton rail link, which NSW Labor has already pledged to support with a $50 million funding commitment in the Illawarra Jobs Action Plan.”

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