Light at the end of the tunnel at ArncliffeShaoquett Moselmane
SOON there may be a ray of light at the end of the tunnel – the promised pedestrian underpass of the railway line at Arncliffe.
A Rockdale Council spokesman said a feasibility study of the proposal would be completed “in coming weeks”.
It would provide Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Trains and the council with expert advice on how to proceed with improving the existing Allen Street road underpass. “A timeline for construction and anticipated costs are all dependant on the results of the feasibility report,” he said.
“The land is owned by the state government and, while council will assist with consultation and project delivery, it\’s not expected to make a financial contribution to the project.”
Rockdale MP John Flowers prospects of keeping his seat at the next election, just 12 months away, may hinge on the studys results. His promise to build a pedestrian tunnel, which would greatly benefit students at Al Zahra College, is credited with playing a big role in the Liberals winning the once-safe Labor seat in 2011.
Although the state government allocated $5 million for the work in the 2012 budget, starting that work seems a long way off.
Labor ramped up pressure through a site visit by Opposition roads spokesman Walt Secord, MLC Shaoquett Moselmane and Rockdale councillors Joe Awada and Tarek Ibrahim.
They called on Mr Flowers to detail when work would start. “Like so many of the Liberals\’ promises they talked big during the election campaign but delivered very little in government,” Mr Secord said.
Rockdale MP John Flowers said the “hypocrisy” of Labor on the matter was predictable.
“The Arncliffe pedestrian tunnel was an ALP blind spot for 16 years,” he said. “It wasn\’t on their radar at all.”
Mr Flowers said RMS was working with Rockdale Council and Sydney Trains on the proposal and the government had committed $5million.
Rockdale Council was managing the project with support from Sydney Trains and RMS, he said.
“The timeline for delivery will be determined by the council with the community to be kept informed,” he said.