Sta­tion still waits for up­grade

Eleven months af­ter work was an­nounced by the State Govern­ment there is still no ac­tion on lift access and carpark

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

AF­TER more than a decade of cam­paign­ing and 11 months af­ter the State Govern­ment ear­marked their sta­tion for an up­grade, Rooty Hill res­i­dents are still with­out lift access to the train plat­forms.

Mul­goa state Lib­eral MP Tanya Davies’ an­nounce­ment last June of a ma­jor up­grade at the sta­tion was met with scep­ti­cism by Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla.

He re­mains frus­trated that lifts have not been fast­tracked as part of the ur­gent need to re­fur­bish the decades-old sta­tion.

He is an­noyed by the govern­ment’s lack of an­swers as to why the el­derly and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties still do not have easy access.

“Their (the govern­ment) re­sponse is that it is in the plan­ning stage,” Mr Atalla said. “Ev­ery time I ask that’s what they say, I can’t get any more an­swers.”

When The Stan­dard con­tacted Trans­port for NSW it would not re­lease any new de­tails about the up­grade, a spokes­woman say­ing the “de­sign process” was still un­der way.

“A de­liv­ery sched­ule for the pro­posed project will be an­nounced at the com­ple­tion of the de­sign process,’’ she said.

The de­part­ment said the ma­jor up­grade to Rooty Hill sta­tion, funded un­der the govern­ment’s Trans­port Access Pro­gram, would im­prove access and cre­ate more com­muter car park­ing spa­ces.

The spokes­woman could not pro­vide an up­dated time- line on when the up­grade would be­gin, or be com­pleted, but she said site in­ves­ti­ga­tions had helped de­velop a con­cept de­sign for the project and de­tailed plan­ning con­tin­ued.

“Com­mu­nity mem­bers will be able to com­ment on the pro­posed up­grade fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the de­sign process,’’ she said.

Mr Atalla iden­ti­fied a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for an aged-care cen­tre, made up of five large build-

Their re­sponse is that it is in the plan­ning stage. Ev­ery time I ask that’s what they say, I can’t get any more an­swers Ed­mond Atalla

ings, to be built next to the south side of Rooty Hill sta­tion and said lift access should be ex­pe­dited to meet the an­tic­i­pated in­creased de­mand.

Bob Ir­win, a 70-year-old Rooty Hill res­i­dent, said he had lived in the area for decades and a lift had been needed for a long time.

“We came here in 1969 and in those days my wife would go down with one or two kids in the stroller, and you’d get the sta­tion­mas­ter’s at­ten­tion and he un­locked a gate for you to get over the rails and miss the steps,’’ he said.

“But you can’t do that any­more – there’d be a thou­sand rea­sons why.”

Mr Ir­win ques­tioned whether the NSW Govern­ment had put the needs of a La­bor-held seat lower down the list of pri­or­i­ties.

“There’s a funny thing with Lib­eral and La­bor, they don’t seem to work to­gether,” he said.

Ms Davies said Trans­port for NSW was work­ing closely with Black­town Coun­cil to cater to the com­mu­nity’s needs. “I look for­ward to see­ing the de­sign and plan­ning work progress for the Rooty Hill sta­tion up­grade and will keep the com­mu­nity in­formed on the next steps,’’ she said.

Mul­goa state Lib­eral MP Tanya Davies an­nounces the multi mil­lion dol­lar up­grade for Rooty Hill sta­tion last June.

Main pic­ture: Matthew Sul­li­van

Bob and Mar­ion Ir­win have lived in Rooty Hill for 46 years and are in favour of a lift on the north­ern side of Rooty Hill train sta­tion. (Right) Chi­fley fed­eral La­bor MP Ed Hu­sic led a rally in June 2013 to lobby for up­grades to Rooty Hill and Doon­side sta­tions.

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