NEWCASTLE Greens Lord Mayoral candidate Cr Ian McKenzie has demanded Lord
Mayor John Tate promise the Newcastle people he will not sell out on his
new found support for retaining heavy rail services to Newcastle Station.
Cr McKenzie’s demand follows a twelfth-hour backflip by the Lord Mayor and
councillors who had previously supported cutting the rail line. In the
dying minutes of the final meeting of this council before Saturday’s
election, Newcastle City Council voted unanimously, on a motion moved by
the Lord Mayor, to “inform the State Government that it supports the
retention of heavy rail services to Newcastle Station.”
This is in direct contradiction of the preferred option of the Lower Hunter
Transport Working Group, of which the Lord Mayor is one of four members.
Finding No. 11 of its Final Report stated, “the Working Group’s preferred
option is the removal of the heavy rail line from Broadmeadow to Newcastle
“The Lord Mayor acknowledged the thousands of leaflets being distributed
urging voters to put him last could have an affect on his chances of re-
election, and the next thing we know – he’s backflipped,” Cr McKenzie said.
“I could hardly believe my ears, but its in black and white, in the
minutes, and on the tape. The Lord Mayor has done a complete turn around
on his regularly touted desire to see the rail cut,” Cr McKenzie said.
“But Newcastle voters have a right to know he won’t change his mind again after Saturday’s election,” Cr McKenzie said.
“The Lord Mayor needs to go on the public record and clearly state his
position, and promise he will stick it after the election,” Cr McKenzie
“He must not be allowed to weasel his way out of a clear position by saying
last night’s resolution is consistent with the Report’s findings. It
clearly is not,” Cr McKenzie said.
“Voters need to be careful not to be hoodwinked by this last-minute move to
save the Lord Mayoralty,” Cr McKenzie said.
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