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The Member for Shellharbour has sent a letter to the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, the Hon. Melinda Pavey MP, seeking urgent clarification on planning approval for the Albion Park Rail bypass project.

The letter (see attached) follows comments made by the Member for Kiama on Monday, 12 December 2017, in which he refused to guarantee planning approval would be granted before the end of the year.

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

There is currently only seven working days left before the Christmas shutdown and if the Government is still seeking to achieve planning approval before the end of the year it will need to be delivered before this date.

In the letter, Ms Watson has highlighted the concerns of the Shellharbour community whilst seeking urgent clarification regarding the status of the project and causes of the possible delay. Ms Watson has also requested a prompt response due to the time sensitive nature of the issue.

Quotes Attributable to Anna Watson MP:

“Gareth Ward’s refusal to guarantee planning approval for the Bypass before the end of the year should ring alarm bells for local residents.

“This is a project that has already suffered an embarrassing delay in planning approval and is now a full year behind schedule. My community deserves to know what the holdup is.

“These are deadlines and promises this Government are setting for themselves: and they’re still breaking them. Come clean with my community, or better yet, just get on with the job.”

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