Tate credibility on the line, say Greens

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Tate credibility on the line, say Greens

The Greens today said that public statements by Newcastle Lord Mayor John Tate regarding his past stance on development of the Newcastle rail corridor raise serious questions about his credibility as a contender for the state seat of Newcastle.

Today’s Newcastle Herald reports Councillor Tate as saying that he had “always said that the railway corridor should stay as a corridor…a transport corridor ”.

“The full truth is that Cr Tate has supported major built development on significant portions of the existing rail corridor,” The Greens candidate for the seat of Newcastle, John Sutton, said.

“In 2003 Cr Tate was a member of the Michael Costa-appointed Lower Hunter Transport Working Group, and fully supported that group’s Final Report (released in December 2003), which indicated major built development on the existing railway corridor (see relevant excerpts in attachment from that report).

“The future of the Newcastle rail line is going to be a key issue in the March state election for the seat of Newcastle, and it’s important that all candidates are open and honest with voters about their record and where they stand on the issue,” Mr Sutton said.

“The 2003 report supported by Cr Tate recommended saving only part of the existing rail corridor for transport purposes, giving the rest over to other developments.

“Councillor Tate has received political donations from local developers who are actively involved in the campaign to cut the Newcastle rail line, and has already been censured by Newcastle Council for not adequately disclosing conflicts of interest arising from such political donations.

“The fact is that Cr Tate has blown with the wind of his own perceived political interests on the issue of the Newcastle rail line.

“During the 1990s he stood with the grassroots community campaign to save the line. Soon after he was elected Lord Mayor in 1999 (largely on his reputation as a community advocate on issues such as the rail line), he was captured by the vested interests behind the anti-rail campaign, and worked with Labor’s then Minister for the Hunter, Michael Costa, on the campaign to cut the line.

“Cr Tate owes it to Newcastle voters to tell the full truth about his stance on the rail line, and not hide behind partial truths and weasel words,” Mr Sutton said.

[See the maps title “Area 3: Newcastle – 3-D massing model of proposed”, p.29; and “Character Sketch”, p.33; and “Character Sketch”, p.35 in the attached pdf. All these maps and artists’ impressions depict significant built development on the existing rail corridor].

For further information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle), on 4969 2668 or 0411 154 004.

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