Community takes fight for rail to the Supreme Court
Rail corridor between Glenfield and Macarthur earmarked for medium density
Rail Trail boost to tourism - and local economy
Newcastle rail case may be long wait
Save Our Rail questions semantics argument over rail line cut
North West Rail Link corridor to extend through to Marsden Park
Camurra West to Weemelah Line Booked Out of Use
Rail Trail full steam ahead
John Holland Commissions Electronic Train Orders
Closure of Newcastle rail stations not technically a closure of whole line, State Government lawyer says
Planning has begun for an army of protesters to rally on the steps of Parliament House in Sydney if the state government proceeds with plans to cut the Maitland-Newcastle rail line west of Wickham.
The Premier’s office told the Mercury that an announcement would be made on Friday and a spokesman for Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said the details were being prepared and the office hoped Mr Hazzard would visit Newcastle to reveal the government’s plans.
Labor, the Greens, unions and commuters are already formulating their response, which will include a petition, protests in Newcastle culminating in the Parliament House rally on February 19 they say will attract thousands of people from across the Hunter angered by the decision.
Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson said the line will be cut west of Wickham with bumpers installed on the rail line to stop the trains and commuters using a makeshift station to access buses or walk to the CBD.
She said the plan will create gridlock and has called on commuters, unions and politicians across NSW to unite against it.
Maitland residents have begun signing a petition, which will require 10,000 signatures to be tabled and debated in Parliament.
The state government promised to release the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan, which came out on Thursday, and then consult the community to develop regional plans, which would identify transport needs for each area.
Cessnock MP Clayton Barr and transport advocate Rick Banyard said this hadn’t happened and condemned Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian for allowing a decision on the railway to be made by Mr Hazzard without community consultation or a completed Hunter Region Transport Plan.
“Developers have held the government to ransom by saying that the redevelopment of Newcastle cannot occur with the railway in place,” he said.
“The NSW government is spending millions of dollars for the developers and have broken their promise to the people of the Hunter.”
Mr Barr received a letter from Ms Berejiklian’s parliamentary secretary John Ajaka on October 29 that said Transport NSW would develop regional transport plans – including for the Hunter – after the NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan was released.
The letter said Transport NSW would work with local government to identify existing and future transport needs and “the Hunter Region Transport Plan will provide integrated transport and land use plan that considers passenger and freight transport needs across all modes of transport within the region and beyond”.
Mr Barr said Mr Ajaka told him during a phone conversation in September that the office would not comment on a decision until the Hunter Region Transport Master Plan had been developed.
“Her parliamentary secretary believes it is a transport decision that can’t be made until the Hunter Region Transport Master Plan is completed – but Gladys Berejiklian and Brad Hazzard don’t,” he said.
“That plan hasn’t even been released and they are making the decision on the rail line – she will be the first transport minister in NSW to be in favour of ripping up a rail line.”
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon and Maitland Greens spokeswoman Jan Davis have also expressed their outrage.
This article first appeared on www.maitlandmercury.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.