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Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, has today called on Gareth Ward to come clean with the community on whether planning approval for the Albion Park Rail Bypass will be granted by the end of this year.

Previously, Roads and Maritime Services have said that planning approval for the project would be granted by the end of 2017. Mr Ward had previously echoed these sentiments.

However, with the 2017 Christmas shutdown fast approaching, there has been radio silence from the Member for Kiama on whether planning approval will be granted for the project before the end of the calendar year.

Planning approval for the project has already been delayed once, with the Government failing to meet a self-imposed deadline of 31 December 2016. Following this failure, the Government guaranteed that planning approval for the project was “on track for late this year”.

These latest revelations come only months after it was revealed the Government had a secret plan to refuse to build the Yallah Interchange, making it harder for Dapto and West Dapto residents to use the bypass.

Quotes attributable to Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson MP:

“I’m calling on Gareth Ward to be upfront with the community. Will planning approval for the Albion Park Rail bypass be granted this year as the Government had promised, or will there be more delays, more broken promises and more trickery?

“This isn’t the first time there has been an embarrassing delay in this project. Planning approval is already 12 months behind schedule, yet the State Government seriously expects the people of the Illawarra to believe that construction on the bypass will start in 2019. It is just not believable.

“Gareth Ward has already dudded the people of Dapto and West Dapto with his refusal to commit to building the Yallah interchange, any further delays would be another example of a Government that is all talk and no delivery for the people of the Illawarra.”

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