Greens Media Release on Newcastle Rail

Following the decision on Tuesday by Newcastle Council to support the extension of light rail in Newcastle and the formation of a Hunter Transport Authority, Newcastle Greens Councillor Therese Doyle said ‘There is widespread concern in the Newcastle community over the passing of a resolution without explicitly stating that the Council supports the retention of the rail corridor and intercity rail services to Newcastle Station’.

‘I want to make it very clear that the Greens support for the light rail extension and the establishment of a Hunter Transport Authority occurred on the understanding that Council would go on to make a separate statement of support for retaining the rail.

‘The Greens have supported a stand-alone Hunter Transport Authority for years, long before the Property Council admitted it was a good idea.’

‘It is regrettable that the agreement I thought I had with Lord Mayor Nelmes to bring on a subsequent motion was then rejected by the Lord Mayor as not being urgent.

‘The people of Newcastle have not given up on the rail and it is urgently important that Council sends a strong message to the NSW Upper House that the community want to retain the rail line.

To suggest otherwise would be a massive betrayal of the vast majority of Novocastrians who want the rail retained, and those who voted Labor on the strength of it.’

‘My motion (below) which makes a clear statement of support for retaining the rail line into Newcastle will go to the next Council meeting. Unfortunately that may be after the NSW Upper House has debated the Liberal Government’s legislation to remove the rail corridor entirely.’

‘I call on Lord Mayor Nelmes to make a public commitment today that she will vote to support the following motion at the next Council meeting so that the people of Newcastle can be clear that this Labor Lord Mayor and Council support retaining the rail into Newcastle.’

Motion

That Council 

  1. “reaffirms its support for the retention of intercity rail service to Newcastle station. Furthermore Newcastle Council considers that the rail transport corridor from Wickham to Newcastle Station is an invaluable piece of public infrastructure now and into the future, which should not be alienated for private development.

[and in the case that the matter has not already passed through the Legislative Council]

  1. sends urgently a copy of this resolution  to all members of the NSW Legislative Council for their information”

For further information contact Therese Doyle on 0434 257 892

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