The NSW State Government has released the draft Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy 2012 outlining the Government’s plans for revitalising Newcastle’s Central Business District over the next 25 years and to support “the government’s recent decision to replace rail services with bus services from a new transport interchange at Wickham”. It includes an Implementation Plan to be “used to guide future decision making and to measure the progress and success of urban renewal in Newcastle’s city centre”.
Newcastle Greens Councillors’ Submission
Given that this Strategy will set the framework for urban renewal activities in Newcastle for the next 25 years it is vitally important that community needs and concerns are included. To this end the Newcastle Greens Councillors, Michael Osborne and Therese Doyle, are preparing a detailed submission in response to the Draft. To ensure as wide a range of views as possible are canvassed they are calling for community input to this response.
Copies of the Draft Strategy are available from: www.planning.nsw.gov.au or can be downloaded from our website (links below). The community has until 17th March 2013 to comment on the strategy.
Questions Raised by the Draft
Many unanswered questions are raised by this plan.
While it is undeniable that Newcastle’s CBD sorely needs attention do we really need fatter, higher buildings whose construction and sale will line developers’ pockets?
Will terminating rail travellers’ trips at Wickham and stuffing them onto buses really do anything to improve commuters’ travel and attract tourists to the city? Why is the Government spending millions of dollars on cutting rail services and dealing with the consequences instead of spending this money on making real improvements that would benefit public transport and grow patronage? What are the impacts on traffic flows and local businesses of closing level crossings at Beaumont and Railway Streets? Why have alternative plans put forward by the local community been ignored?
What is the best way of preserving the City’s considerable cultural heritage currently languishing after years of neglect?
And where are all these changes going to come from with only $120 million allocated by the Sate Government? The money certainly won’t be provided by the cash strapped Newcastle Council who are struggling to provide basic services.
If You Care
If you care about Newcastle’s future; if you want Newcastle to remain the liveable city it has become while realising its economic potential; please make sure your voice is heard either by making a submission yourself or contributing your ideas to the Newcastle Greens submission.
If you need ideas keep a watch on this site as we will be putting forward some suggested points for the submission soon. Submissions can be short. You can focus on one or two sections of the draft plan or discuss all areas.
Make your voice heard against this mean spirited, cruel joke on the people of Newcastle. Let the Sydney centric, developer friendly politicians in Macquarie Street know that Novocastrians are “not happy Barry”. Let’s see if he really cares about the people of Newcastle. The more submissions the Government receive the more likely they are to listen.
So, send your ideas for revitalising Newcastle directly to the Department of Planning (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to either of the Newcastle Greens Councillors; Michael Osborne (email@example.com) or Therese Doyle (firstname.lastname@example.org).