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The New South Wales government is being urged to release more information about its plans for Newcastle's rail corridor, after geological drilling work began yesterday.
UrbanGrowth NSW says the 'ground testing' in the rail corridor between Worth Place and Watt Street is taking place to better understand soil and groundwater conditions.
It has notified inner city residents the drilling will take place between June 1 and the end of July, between 7:00am and 5:30pm weekdays, and, if necessary, on Saturdays as well.
It says the process involves excavating shallow pits and drilling at various locations, but anticipates the work will create minimal impact for neighbouring residents.
But Newcastle Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp said with the future of the heavy rail corridor still the subject of a court appeal, the drilling work is a concern.
"If they're geotechnical drilling there, you'd assume they're looking to see if there's any mine subsidence under there," he said.
"But you wonder why they're doing that because there's an appeal in the court over the rail line in July.
"At least the government should wait until the outcome of that court case is known."
Mr Crakanthorp said it is time the government told the people of Newcastle what plans it has.
"The government is doing a large amount of drilling from Worth Place to Watt Street, which is not an area that seems to be specified for a great deal of development.
"So we're just wondering what is going on there.
"The government originally said it would be green space, then they said there'd be cafes, then large development.
"What are their plans now? Non-stop high-rise development from Worth Place to Watt Street?
"They need to come clean on what is going on down there.
"Mike Baird called this the people's project, yet the people of Newcastle are being kept in the dark."
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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