Greens call for improved Corrimal train service before coke works development proceeds

The proposed development site at Corrimal, and inset, Bronwyn Batten

GREENS candidate for the Wollongong City Council elections in September, Bronwyn Batten has called for better train services for Corrimal before the coke works development proceeds.

Dr Batten said the proposed development in Railway Street, beside the train station, will lead to further traffic woes for the northern Illawarra. 

“Even with the proposed reduction of dwellings from 750 down to 550 the size of the development cannot be justified merely because it is adjacent to Corrimal Railway Station,” Dr Batten said.

“The proposal simply does not recognise the reality that Wollongong is a car-dependent community.”

Corrimal Station does not receive express services and there is currently only one train each hour stopping at Corrimal, forcing many residents to drive to Thirroul to catch an express train.

“With regular turn up and go services for both local and intercity trains we could actually take cars off the road. Without them, any development at the Coke Works site will see a significant increase in the Northern Illawarra’s traffic woes,” Dr Batten said. 

“The northern Illawarra is currently seeing the ramifications of development without adequate transport services to support it. Traffic throughout the Northern Illawarra is often at a stand-still, especially on weekends. We cannot continue to permit large-scale residential developments without a strategy to reduce car dependence and get cars off the road.” 

Dr Batten, a resident of Thirroul, said the traffic assessment for the proposed development was undertaken on a single Thursday in October 2018, and believes the sample is too small and is out of date.

Dr Batten said there has already been considerable development in Corrimal since that time.

“Anyone driving along Railway Street knows that traffic has increased substantially due to the cumulative increase in dwellings being approved.

“I believe the idea that the developer or Council can upgrade the intersection of Memorial Drive/Railway Street is flawed. The developer’s active transport options, which are also crucial to getting cars off the road, for the site are also inadequate.

“The proposed shared path must be connected to key destinations like Corrimal shops, Corrimal pool and the library, and the coastal bike path to make a real difference. We need to see greater community benefit from such a major development and assurances that it will make our community a better place,  not leave us with transport problems to solve in the future.  

“It is time for the community and Council to push back and demand the public transport services we need to reduce car dependency before major developments are approved.”

Dr Batten is encouraging the community to voice concerns online via the Wollongong Council engagement page.

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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.


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