Parramatta-Epping Rail Link missing from Labor budget

“This week’s Gillard/Swan Budget has totally ignored the Parramatta-Epping Rail Link and the people of Parramatta,” Senator Marise Payne said today.

“Despite over 1,100 pages of Budget papers, the words Parramatta or Epping do not rate one single mention.

“Even the Transport & Infrastructure Department’s own Portfolio Budget Statement (a further 218 pages) fails to mention the Rail Link.

“$2.1 billion was promised by Julia Gillard just 10 days before the August 2010 election. This amount was then confirmed in the Mid-Year Economic & Fiscal Outlook along with seven other infrastructure projects. All of these projects were set to receive their funding over a four-year period starting in 2014-15.

“The people of Parramatta are justified in their anger when they learn that each of the seven other infrastructure projects rated a mention in the main Budget document, but Parramatta-Epping seems to have vanished off the agenda.

“Despite the mandate recently received by Barry O’Farrell to prioritise funding for the North-West Rail Link, this project also fails to earn any respect in this Labor Budget.

“The Gillard Government must be held responsible for their election promises. Many constituents have told me that they would never believe yet another Labor promise to build a rail line, and as every day passes, this distrust appears to be well placed.

“As a Liberal Senator representing Western Sydney I will continue fighting for the immediate construction of infrastructure in our region to alleviate the horror congestion faced by commuters on our roads every day,” Senator Payne concluded.