MEDIA RELEASE: Transport Minister responds after pressure from Maitland community

The Member for Maitland Jenny Aitchison MP today said that although she was pleased the Government had responded to the community’s calls for an upgrade to Victoria Street station, she remained cynical of the now-familiar pledge to undertake “investigations.”

Ms Aitchison said “There is no doubt that the petition signed by our community has had an impact. It certainly put pressure on the Shooters and Fishers Party to negotiate more funding from the government in relation to the truncation of the rail line.”

“I am also very pleased to read that the Minister’s spokesperson is saying an investigation into upgrading the Victoria Street Station is underway. It would have more credibility if they weren’t discussing the installation of “new” lifts as there have never been lifts at the station, and if they hadn’t been promising it for the last few years.”

Former Member for Maitland Robyn Parker, released a photo of herself with then Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian on the steps of Victoria Street Station with a person in a wheel chair indicating her pledge to turn it into an accessible station.

The upgrade was never included in the Lower Hunter Transport Plan which was released in April 2014, despite an earlier promise from Ms Berejiklian to investigate the upgrade.

Three weeks after the Transport plan was launched, it was back on the Minister’s agenda:

“Indeed when then Shadow Transport Minister Penny Sharpe came to Victoria Street Station in February 2014, the Government was embarrassed when she pointed out that the Transport for NSW website incorrectly listed the station as accessible when it wasn’t.”

“Perhaps if the Minister acted on my calls to establish a Hunter Planning and Transport Authority, we could get some integrated transport and planning in the Hunter from someone who actually knows what’s going on here.”

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