Kiama to Bomaderry rail link in jeopardy: Cr Watson

SKEPTICAL: Shoalhaven councillor Greg Watson

SKEPTICAL: Shoalhaven councillor Greg Watson

A bid to improve Kiama to Bomaderry bus services led by Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has been welcomed by Shoalhaven City Council.

But Shoalhaven Councillor Greg Watson isn’t convinced Mr Ward has the local community’s best interests at heart.

At a council meeting on Tuesday night, Cr Watson aired concerns bus services will eventually replace all train services from Kiama to Bomaderry.

“The state government is positioning itself to shut down the rail line between Kiama and Bomaderry,” Cr Watson said.

“If we let them phase out that rail service to Bomaderry, we won’t have a rail service in 100 years.

“I don’t think our community will tolerate having to get on buses instead of train services.”

Mr Ward, asked to weigh in on the issue via Twitter, quashed Cr Watson’s comments.

“He’s a clown, he wants steam back,” Mr Ward said.

When pressed, Mr Ward guaranteed the branch line will stay.

Cr Andrew Guile who chaired the meeting accused Cr Watson of employing scare tactics.

“We need more public transport,” he said.

“I don’t think we can afford to have the luxury of saying, ‘We need this type of transport’.”

At the end of the debate, councillors voted to pen a letter of support for Mr Ward’s budget bids, including continued funding for the Berry to Bomaderry bypass, funding for the Shoalhaven Memorial Hospital car park, and the bus service to prevent residents from being stranded at Kiama train station while they wait to travel south.

This story first appeared on the South Coast Register.

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