“The Premier’s statement from yesterday highlighting the state government’s preference for improved public transport solutions to enable the revitalisation of the Newcastle CBD is an opportunity for the City,” Greens Councillor Michael Osborne said.
“It’s time for the state government, and the Minister for the Hunter in particular, to show real leadership and release the plan for the Newcastle CBD that they are investigating.
“It is obvious that the state government no longer has confidence in the Hunter Development Corporation CBD Revitalisation Report, which advocated cutting the line and the use of buses to replace the lost rail services. The report saw no merit in any further consideration of light rail, which the Premier’s statement from yesterday contradicts.
“This lack of confidence in the HDC report is soundly based, given the significant flaws in that report. Sydney Labor needs to learn from this lesson, and to give more credence to the community (including The Greens), who pointed out these problems from the moment that the HDC report was released (our media releases and submissions are there for all to see).
“The state government and the Minister for the Hunter needs to show real leadership in bringing the community together around it’s plan for a rail-based revitalisation of the CBD and expansion of the city’s public transport system.
“The State member for Newcastle and the newly re-elected Federal member for Newcastle need to get together with Newcastle City Council and adjoining members of Parliament to discuss the plans for the revitalisation of the City of Newcastle.
“There needs to be proper engagement with the community, including stakeholder groups, in order to gain the widespread community support that we need to progress the revitalisation of Newcastle,” Councillor Osborne said.