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A RENEWED campaign against plans to remove Newcastle’s heavy rail will be launched on Wednesday evening, in an effort to increase pressure on the government about the issue before the state election.
But the Hunter Concerned Citizens group says it won’t stand for politicking at its first meeting or others to be held before the March 28 poll.
‘‘We don’t want people bringing along Greens or Labor signs ... we want people to make up their own minds on how they vote but to find out about their preferred candidate’s policy on the rail before they do,’’ campaign spokesman David Blyth said.
The Hunter Concerned Citizens group is behind the launch of the "Keep the Hunter on Track" campaign, which seeks a ‘‘modern public transport system for the region’’ as well as advocating for transparent planning processes and ‘‘sensible’’ development in the city.
Mr Blyth said the group wanted the rail line retained, or to at least have light rail running down the corridor if the government refused to restore the heavy rail service.
The campaign is being mounted in response to the government pushing ahead with elements of its plans, including ceasing train services east of Hamilton.
Mr Blyth said the changes had resulted in increased daily commute times and frustrating interchanges.
He said the group involved about 30 to 40 people at its core, including members of groups such as Save Our Rail, although it would campaign as a collective of citizens rather than an alliance of groups.
Election candidates and politicians including the Premier have been invited to the first meeting, which starts at 7pm at Newcastle City Hall.
This article first appeared on www.theherald.com.au
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