Blue Mountains News
Council Disappointed with Decision for Regional Rail
Mayor Stephen Lesslie expressed disappointment at advice received from Transport NSW that they did not seek submissions from locations with potential to meet objectives before deciding on the location of the Regional Rail project.
“The written advice from Transport NSW is contrary to advice given by the Deputy Premier John Ballilaro when questioned publicly at the recent Country Mayors Association meeting in Sydney on the 3rd November 2017,” said Lithgow Mayor, Stephen Lesslie.
“The advice received from Transport NSW states quite clearly –
All locations in regional NSW which had the potential to meet the project's objectives were assessed against criteria that included operational, engineering, environmental and construction considerations before the preferred location for the maintenance facility was selected. Submissions from locations with potential to meet project objectives were not sought. The preferred location of Dubbo is still subject to planning approval and we will be on public display next year to gather feedback and submissions from stakeholders about this site.
TNSW is committed to the best possible outcomes for regional NSW being achieved through the Regional Rail Project. “
“It is disappointing that Lithgow was precluded from championing the extensive infrastructure we already have in place, not to mention the positive employment aspects the project would have had for our economy which has been hard hit in recent time from the changes in coal mining and power generation,” said Cr Lesslie.
“The disparity between the advice from the Deputy Premier on the 3rd November 2017 and that provided by Transport NSW does make one wonder if the Deputy Premier is being fully informed of the processes being applied in these projects,” said Cr Lesslie.
“We are disappointed that the Member for Bathurst was not given the opportunity to champion regional centres within his electorate and hope that when the decision is reviewed next year, the member will be advised by Transport NSW and given the opportunity for input,” said Cr Lesslie.
“I do question the wisdom of making such decisions so far removed from regional locations with existing infrastructure and particularly precluding those most affected from at least having a chance to champion their cause,” said Deputy Mayor Cr Wayne McAndrew.
“Lithgow Council will continue to champion the cause of the Lithgow people and regrets that there was no opportunity given for anyone to make the case for Lithgow in this particular instance,” said the Deputy Mayor.
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