Glendale Interchange Must Be Top Priority

Greens candidate for Wallsend, Keith Parsons, has called on all local State candidates to make the Glendale regional interchange their key regional transport priority for the coming election.

“The Government’s last minute offer of $500,000 for planning is a pittance and must be treated with suspicion, given this Government’s lack of credibility on this and other transport issues”, said Mr. Parsons.

“Premier Bob Carr first promised funding for the interchange back in 1998, almost 13 years ago. What’s happened since then? Nothing!.”

“It took 18 years to shame the Labor Government into allocating in May last year, a relatively small amount for a lift at Cardiff Station under its Easy Access program.
Former MP for Wallsend, John Mills, tabled a petition with 10,000 signatures 10 years before the money was found. That’s a disgrace.

“What realistic expectations then, can we have for a far more expensive interchange? We can hardly expect Federal funding assistance without a significant State government contribution”, Mr. Parsons said.

“Look at Labor’s record. In 2006, development approval was given for an accessibility lift at Broadmeadow. Jodi Mckay announced its imminent construction before the 2007 election. Where is the lift?”

“Will the State government confirm or deny that the $6.5M from the Cardiff lift was shuffled from the projected  $12M for the Broadmeadow one?”

Mr Parsons called on all local candidates, and particularly those for the seat of Wallsend, to state their categorical opposition to cutting the rail line to Newcastle Station and constructing a Wickham terminus.

“There won’t be Federal funds for both the Glendale and Wickham proposals. Why would the Federal Government put money into a Wickham terminus that makes no transport planning or economic sense?”

“Premier Keneally recently said on John Laws 2 SM radio (7 February 2011): “Let me make this clear. There will be no cuts to essential services like transport”.

“If that commitment is genuine, cutting the Newcastle line at Wickham is now off the agenda. This would free up funds for Glendale and place a vital transport facility where it’s needed:  at Glendale- close to the population centre of the Newcastle urban area.” said Mr Parsons.

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