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Wollondilly Council has thrown its weight behind a political pitch to complete a long abandoned rail project.
Labor last week pledged $50 million towards completion of the Maldon-Dombarton freight rail link project - if the party wins next month's federal election.
Work on the 35-kilometre single-track freight line between Maldon and the Illawarra began in 1983 before the project was shelved by then state Liberal Premier Nick Greiner five years later.
The line has remained untouched over the past three decades.
The Dombarton - Maldon rail bridge was abandoned mid-construction in 1988. Picture: Wolter Peeters
Wollondilly Council has welcomed Labor's pledge to revamp the freight line project.
Mayor Matthew Deeth said it was a good step towards securing better infrastructure and connecting the shire to Wollongong and surrounding areas.
However, Cr Deeth said he would like to see a commitment to providing a passenger service as well.
Labor has already stated the project would be for "freight rail only", not train passengers.
"A commitment to a passenger service would particularly benefit the Wilton growth area, the entire Illawarra region and to provide critical connectivity to Western Sydney and the second airport," Cr Deeth said.
"Wollondilly is a key geographical link through this massive strategic corridor."
A site of Maldon-Dombarton rail link sign in 2014. Picture: Steve Darcy
Last week, Macarthur MP Dr Mike Freelander told the Advertiser it was time to complete the Maldon-Dombarton rail link. He said the project would take "thousands of trucks off our roads".
"This is something that I've been pushing a long time - the line is three-quarters built," he said. "It will make a huge difference to Macarthur, particularly on Picton and Appin roads where we have seen many heavy vehicle crashes in recent years.
"Completion of this freight line will make Macarthur's roads much safer."
Labor believes the Maldon-Dombarton line will be a boon for freight logistics in the Illawarra and south-west Sydney, boosting the economy via job creation and business expansion opportunities.
The remainder of the project would include building a four-kilometre tunnel, high bridges over the Cordeaux and Nepean rivers and a crossing beneath the Hume Highway.
This article first appeared on www.macarthuradvertiser.com.au
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