Albanese Government committed to Appin Rd upgrade: Freelander

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Dr Mike Freelander says that after recently meeting with federal minister for infrastructure Catherine King he can confirm that the Albanese Government is committed to funding Appin Road upgrades – once the new NSW Labor Government have announced their own funding commitment.

In an interview with the South West Voice last week, the federal member for Macarthur admitted that he was disappointed by the scoping study that the Minns Government had announced during the campaign for the March 25 state election.

“However, I do appreciate this as a step in the right direction and I look forward to working with John Graham, the NSW minister for roads, and Greg Warren, the Member for Campbelltown, to advance this issue,’’ Dr Freelander said.

“During the NSW Liberal’s 12-years in government they neglected the constant cries from the public for road and wildlife protection upgrades to Appin Road.

“It is very clear that Appin Road needs to be fixed to prevent further losses of life and I am very disappointed in the failure of the previous Liberal Federal and NSW Government’s for not taking the obvious course of action to invest in safety upgrades.’’

Dr Freelander said he has been advocating to both government and non-government stakeholders to fix Appin Road since being elected in 2016.

During the campaign for the 2019 federal election, Dr Freelander committed a Labor Government to $50 million worth of funding for Appin Road.

Labor lost that election, but won in 2022, so critics want to know what happened to the $50 million election pledge.

“Regarding the previous commitments, these were made during past election campaigns which unfortunately did not result in a Federal Labor Government,’’ says Dr Freelander.

“As a result, the then Turnbull and later Morrison Government’s did not follow through with these commitments and have only provided piecemeal upgrades which have not targeted the specific areas of Appin Road that need improvement, such was their lack of local knowledge. 

“We owe it to the people and wildlife of Macarthur to upgrade this treacherous road and I am committed to ensuring this is done.’’

The South West Voice also asked Dr Freelander whether the Labor Government supported the plan for a giant community justice centre to be located in Campbelltown.

A computer generated image of what a community justice centre may look like next to the current historic children’s court building in Queen Street, Campbelltown. TOP: Dr Freelander with Greg Warren on Appin Road.

The project, mooted to cost around $1 billion, appears to have stalled in the past 18 months due to lack of government support at both state and federal level.

“I have spoken with the Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, about this important initiative for our region, and I helped organise Campbelltown Council’s meeting with Mark while he was Shadow Attorney General,’’ Dr Freelander said.

“Mark is very supportive of this project and our Federal Government will continue to collaborate with the NSW Government to work on this important project going forward.

“I am also working towards arranging a time for the Attorney General to meet with Campbelltown Council when time for all parties permits,’’ he said.

We also asked Dr Freelander about another lapsed but important infrastructure proposal: a commuter car park at Macarthur railway station.

This was an election promise by the federal member for Hume Angus Taylor, and then Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2019.

“This project was unfortunately terminated as a result of the then Berejiklian and Morrison Government’s failure to agree on funding,’’ Dr Freelander said.

“Specifically, Transport for NSW estimated that the cost for a Macarthur multi-storey car park would be between $48-$63 million; with the intention being that both the NSW and Commonwealth Governments co-fund it.

 “Instead, the Morrison Government allocated only $15 million towards the project, which was not even half of what was requested and I am advised that this was done without consultation with the NSW Government. As a result, it was cancelled.

“I will engage with my Federal and NSW Government colleagues to discuss this project going forward and what any future plans may be,’’ Dr Freelander said.

1 thought on “Albanese Government committed to Appin Rd upgrade: Freelander”

  1. I would be very, very interested in knowing how much money has been spent on Appin Road since 1978 – 1979 in feasibility studies and a whole lot more of incidentals to date.
    I remember, as I was working at Appin Colliery at the time and the then liberal Government was going to make Appin Road a “Coal Export Road” and spend millions of dollar’s on it !
    I can’t remember a sod being turned in any upgrade at the time, but million’s of dollars disappeared and that exact same set of circumstances has happened again and again and Appin Road is still a killer road.


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