After promising $50 million for Appin Road, the government appears to have made only a few phone calls about the project. Picture: Jonathan NgThe federal government should be doing more than just making phone calls about fixing Appin Road, according to Cunningham MP Sharon Bird.
During a Senate Estimates hearing into regional transport on Monday, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development officials were asked about progress on the government’s election commitment to Appin Road.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull promised $50 million for the northern end of Appin Road in May last year during theelection campaign.
The department’s South East Roads Branch general managerSarah Leeming said they had spoken to the NSW government by phone several times about Appin Road.
“We’ve been talking to NSW about all the election commitments since just after the election,” the department’s South East Roads Branch general managerSarah Leeming told the estimates committee.
“On Appin Road we’ve had a couple of specific conversations with them about it.”
She added that a large number of meetings occurred by phone.
Ms Leeming said there was no date set for the start of the works.
FederalMinister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester last month said the government was committed to all election promises.
Ms Bird was unhappy that, nine months after the election, the government had done little more on the Appin road upgrade than “make a couple of phone calls”.
“The Liberal Government is stifling the region’s growth by their refusal to invest in the region and provide adequate transport links to ensure that we can harness investment and employment opportunities to their full extent,” Ms Bird said.
“We have overcrowded commuter trains, major arterial roads being closed in peak periods due to accidents and the Liberal Government sitting on their hands and refusing to engage with the region to help relieve the pressure on our roads and rail links.”
Mr Chester’s office was contacted for comment.
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