Latest:

HDC chief and a $30 million rail conflict

An application has been approved to build a block of units worth about $60 million on land near the Wickham rail corridor, part-owned by Hunter Development Corporation general manager Bob Hawes, reports the Maitland Mercury. Newcastle City Council received the DA to build the nine-storey unit block in Beresford Street in 2009. The street runs parallel ...

City’s future plotted by ‘shadow government’

The Newcastle Herald reports that, according to newly released documents, a ‘‘Master Planning Group’’ composed of developers, property investors, elected representatives and public servants held meetings to plot the future of Newcastle. The documents appear to show that members of the group included then lord mayor Jeff McCloy, city general manager Ken Gouldthorp, Hunter Development ...

City campus savaged on parking

[SOR comment: Wickham terminus is predicted to lose 23% of current patronage by Government’s own underestimated figures. Keeping rail would reduce pressure on already limited CBD parking.] THE Roads and Maritime Service has savaged the University of Newcastle’s proposed city campus, saying the plan has failed to properly assess traffic conditions in the city’s central ...

Government approves own plans for Wickham “carport on steroids” (a.k.a. terminus)

The Newcastle Herald reports that the state government has approved its own plans for a new transport interchange at Wickham but has promised to reconsider the design, after a barrage of criticisms of an artist’s impression image of the project. … About 280 submissions were made. Many were critical of the idea of cutting the ...

Hawes was instrumental in giving $60m to govt to investigate rail cut

The Maitland Mercury reports that a public servant at the centre of a conflict of interest allegation over the Newcastle rail cut was on a board that gave the state government $60 million to help make its decision. Hunter Development Corporation general manager Bob Hawes was a member of the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund ...

NSW Government refuses to release Newcastle rail cost benefit papers

Greens NSW MP and Transport spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, has questioned what is the Government hiding after it appears to be hiding documents relating to the truncation of the Newcastle Rail line. The NSW Parliament last month passed Dr Faruqi’s motion demanding the release of a range of papers, the vast majority of which ...

HDC chief denies conflict of interest in rail cut decision

An article and online poll in the Maitland Mercury regarding the GM of HDC: The head of a state government agency advocating the removal of Newcastle rail line has denied having a conflict of interest, despite telling a parliamentary inquiry that he partially owns properties near the future Wickham transport interchange. Hunter Development Corporation general ...

Cost too high for Newcastle light rail? Is that why they won’t tell? – Media release 10/11/2014

Sydney’s light rail cost has blown out by $600million. Could this be related to the reason the cost /benefit analysis for the Newcastle light rail proposal has not been provided in the call for papers at the time of the Upper House Inquiry into local planning? Mr Hazzard had stated in a radio interview in ...

Rail hearing told survey was flawed

As reported in the Maitland Mercury, advocates for retaining the train line between Wickham and Newcastle have had their say to the committee set up to investigate recent planning decisions in the Hunter. … Save Our Rail vice-president Kim Cross was one of the witnesses who fronted the inquiry in the afternoon to give the ...

Land sale advice conflicts

The Newcastle Herald reports that state-owned development authority UrbanGrowth NSW has drawn up a plan for the city centre’s renewal and use of the soon to be vacant rail corridor land to go to a Cabinet committee, while asking for the community’s views on the issues. Documents tabled to NSW Parliament show the “urban renewal ...

The corridor of powers

Greg Ray is on the money with his article “the corridor of powers” (apart from the bit about liking the idea of cutting the rail at Civic). FIRST they said they wanted to cut the rail line to connect the eastern part of the city with the harbour. … Then it was maybe Woodville Junction ...

UrbanGrowth urges NSW government to allow development on Newcastle rail corridor

The Newcastle Herald reports that state development authority UrbanGrowth is urging the government to permit development on at least part of the Newcastle rail corridor that will be left vacant after the heavy rail is truncated, sources say. With the heavy rail between Newcastle and Wickham set to be permanently closed on December 26, the ...

SOR wins by-elections – Media release 29/10/2014

Candidates get on the right track! Save Our Rail claims victory in the by-elections for the seats of Newcastle and Charlestown! We didn’t need to support candidates in the election – in fact we don’t do that ever – because we have members from all sides of politics. However, because the threat of rail closure ...

Government ordered to hand over rail documents

As reported in the Newcastle Herald, the state government will have to table to Parliament a string of documents it has been keeping under wraps, relating to its plans to truncate Newcastle’s heavy rail. … Planning Minister Pru Goward and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian must provide all emails and other records relating to any meetings ...

Baird govt to release documents regarding Newcastle rail line truncation

As reported by ABC News Newcastle, the New South Wales Greens say they have forced the Baird Government to release key documents associated with its decision to truncate Newcastle’s inner-city rail line on Boxing Day. Greens MP and transport spokeswoman Mehreen Faruqi says it is crucial the community gets to see the cost-benefit analysis, as ...

Premier Mike Baird refused to rule out development of the Newcastle rail corridor after the truncation of the line at Wickham

The Maitland Mercury reports that Premier Mike Baird has refused to rule out the possible development of the Newcastle rail corridor after the train line is removed. … Opposition spokeswoman for the Hunter Sonia Hornery asked Mr Baird to postpone the rail cut until after the election and guarantee that the rail corridor would not ...

Bus service to run from Hamilton station after train line cut

The Newcastle Herald reports that the government has released its route map for the replacement shuttles that will run for more than two years while a new Wickham interchange is built and light rail installed. [SOR: no business case released for light rail — will it ever happen?] A SHUTTLE bus service will run between ...

Video: The A-Team – Newcastle Rail Line

Social commentary on the issues surrounding the planned closure of Newcastle’s 150 year old CBD rail line and inner city mass-transit system by the NSW Liberal state government.

Would you drop the best player? – Media release 17/10/2014

No coach in their right mind would drop the best player in their team – they would be putting investment into that one and boosting the chances of success in reaching their goals! Not so our Gladys! Hunter trains recorded the highest level of satisfaction in the state – according to her own index created ...

Video: Private member’s bill introduced to preserve Newcastle rail corridor

Video: Private member’s bill introduced to preserve Newcastle rail corridor
NBN News reports that growing suspicion over the possible development of Newcastle’s rail corridor has prompted Independent MP Greg Piper to introduce a private member’s bill in state parliament. The Transport Minister has only fuelled speculation, by saying “no decision has been made”. Watch the video at NBN News.