Greens call for rail corridor protection now

Rail ClosureGreens Councillors on Newcastle City Council will put a motion at tonight’s Council meeting to preserve the zoning of the rail corridor for public transport use.

“It is time now for Newcastle to reclaim its rail corridor for essential public transport” says Newcastle Greens Councillor Therese Doyle.

“UrbanGrowth’s application to rezone the land along the former Newcastle rail line for development spells the death knell for efficient, uncongested transport into the city centre” she said.

“UrbanGrowth’s proposed model for development of the rail corridor will alienate the land for use for public transport forever.

“The Baird Government has tied up Newcastle’s long-suffering commuters, public and businesses with flawed consultations conducted by two different agencies, UrbanGrowth and Transport for NSW. These are two agencies that don’t talk to each other, don’t base their recommendations on evidence-based traffic or transport research and don’t seek answers about the public’s transport needs or preferences” Councillor Doyle said.

“While Newcastle Council faces the imminent threat of dismissal by the Baird State Government time is running out for us to protect this invaluable piece of public land”, Councillor Doyle said.

“Mr Baird recently gave an undertaking that the ultimate decision on any rezoning of the rail corridor would be taken by Newcastle Council”, Councillor Osborne pointed out. “It would be the height of political cynicism if that decision was placed in the hands of an unelected administrator”, Cr Doyle stressed.

“The only existing NSW State Government proposals that are backed up by evidence-based transport studies recommend putting the new light rail entirely on the existing rail corridor”, said Councillor Doyle. “Those proposals can be found in the suppressed Cabinet Minute Copy 71 uncovered by Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp”, pointed out Cr Doyle.

“Newcastle Greens Councillors believe that the Newcastle public, its commuters and its business owners would be much better served if the rail corridor is kept for its original purpose of public transport with allowances for development that does not impede or threaten that use”, Cr Doyle declared.

Further information contact: Therese Doyle 0434 257 892

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