Rail services to the Southern Highlands have been identified as a ‘primary pursuit’ of Independent candidate for Wollondilly, Judy Hannan.
Ms Hannan said electrification and improved timetables were high on her agenda.
She also shone her spotlight on concerns about accessibility at the Mittagong train station.
“Over the past three months as I have door knocked, answered emails, taken calls and visited businesses, there is one issue that comes up repeatedly as the single biggest issue – public transport,” she said.
“Specifically better timetables, access to air-conditioned express trains to key jobs markets and electrification throughout to the Southern Highlands.
“I happen to agree with you, and today I can confirm that if elected rail electrification will be one of my primary pursuits for the four years of the next term.”
Ms Hannan said train services was not the only project that she supported, but it was one of the most important.
She said she would begin with tackling timetable improvements.
“I plan to push, push, push, from feasibility to funding framework and delivery of electrification no matter the government of the day,” she said
“So as to ensure this possibility is made a reality, I have added a petition to my website, so that each of you can voice your desire for rail electrification through the electorate.
Ms Hannan said that during her campaign launch in October last year, Wingecarribee Shire councillor Ian Scandrett raised the idea of an historic loop line to promote tourism.
“I do love the novelty and the nostalgia of steam trains, so I shared my support for the idea then and still support it now,” she said
“I have since been approached about the potential of historic tours and walks to repurpose the loop line for an alternate tourism draw.
“Therefore, if elected I would continue to consult the community and advocate directly for the best options, that offer the most cost effective return on investment.”
As far as Ms Hannan is concerned a a service that was faster, cooler, was well situated to transport the workforce was essential for the region.To get you to work faster and cooler.
She added that she was also concerned about the urgent need for accessibility for Mittagong train station.
“The Mittagong station has been listed on a program that would make it wheelchair accessible, for some time,” she said.
“While it is on the planning list, it needs to be actioned and delivered for the people of Mittagong and surrounding areas.
“I am asking Transport for NSW to make public its Transport Access Program Priority Timetable so as to ensure confidence in the program’s delivery.
“A wide range of residents, ranging from the elderly, people with disabilities, and pram users, have spoken to me about the struggle they have at the station.
“In suburban Sydney, railway stations are not far from each other while our Mittagong residents have five kilometers to travel to an accessible station with little public transport to even get them there. Many have to drive a ridiculous loop just to change platforms. We must demand better."