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Newcastle rail cut may be illegal, says Save Our Rail

NEWCASTLE rail community group Save Our Rail says the NSW government needs Parliament’s authority to cut the rail line on Boxing Day, as reported in the Newcastle Star. Save Our Rail president Joan Dawson has written to Minister for Transport and Minister for the Hunter Gladys Berejiklian to draw attention to s99A of the Transport ...

EDITORIAL: Inquiry’s points on rail

It might benefit the government to meet the requests of the Nile committee, according to this Newcastle Herald editorial piece. … After an ICAC-dominated year from hell, Mr Baird should accept that any days of railroading the public – excuse the pun – are surely over.  The government must not only run the state with ...

Inquiry report to recommend rail truncation delay

A PARLIAMENTARY inquiry into planning decisions in Newcastle is set to issue an interim report recommending that the Boxing Day truncation of the city’s rail line be put off because of a flawed case for the project, including the lack of a cost benefit analysis, reports the Newcastle Herald. If the government does proceed, then ...

Uncertain future: bus layover land near Newcastle station and fare-free zones

The bus layover area near Newcastle train station will be reviewed by the government as part of its planning for the revitalisation of Newcastle, reports the Newcastle Herald. THE future of the large bus layover area near Newcastle railway station is up in the air along with the rail corridor land itself, the government has ...

Rally for the rail — 14/12/2014 — Kim’s diary

The Rail Rally was amazing! I boarded the 9.58 am train from Thornton to Newcastle, noticing that about a dozen ‘ralliers’ were doing the same. The train was overcrowded with people dressed in yellow and holding placards in support of rail retention and in opposition to the government’s decision to permanently deprive the people of ...

Thousands march as part of Rally for the Rail protest

Thousands march as part of Rally for the Rail protest
The people have spoken. Thousands of residents marched on Civic Park to protest the truncation of the rail line into Newcastle. Links to media articles and videos below. ABC Newcastle Online News: Thousands of Hunter commuters rally against NSW government’s plan to cut Newcastle heavy rail line Hunter commuters say they will not give up ...

‘No legal basis’ to cut the rail line: Labor

LABOR has called on the Baird government to release legal advice justifying its stance that it has the authority to truncate Newcastle’s rail line without the need for an Act of Parliament, despite legislation that suggests otherwise, reports the Newcastle Herald. Opposition leader John Robertson wrote to Premier Mike Baird on Friday calling for the ...

No “interchange” buses from Wickham terminus to Newcastle’s east

JUST how much of an interchange will the city’s promised new Wickham interchange be? The Newcastle Herald reports. That’s the question raised by a draft report to the government that has surfaced, which recommends ditching plans to run buses from the completed interchange to Newcastle’s east while the light rail is being built. [SOR: light ...

Maitland rail supporters expected at Newcastle rally

Maitland rail users are expected to have a loud voice at a Newcastle rally on Sunday designed to stop the Wickham truncation, reports the Maitland Mercury. Rally for the Rail will start at Pacific Park on the Newcastle Foreshore and follow a police escort to Civic Park, where ­participants will hear from guest speakers. “Maitland ...

Council formally changes its mind on rail

NEWCASTLE City Council has formally changed its stance on the planned CBD rail project and will send an ‘‘urgent letter’’ to premier Mike Baird to let him know, reports the Newcastle Herald. … The council’s formal position now supports retention of the heavy rail line between Wickham and Newcastle. The move, formally posed by the ...

Rail workers demand answers over Newcastle line truncation

THE removal of the city’s heavy rail will spell big changes for rail workers as well as passengers, prompting criticism from their union about a lack of consultation as the government pushes ahead with its plans, reports the Newcastle Herald. It comes as opponents of the rail’s truncation met on Monday to devise protest tactics. ...

Labor bloc in 11th-hour plea to save rail line

NEWCASTLE’S Labor councillors are leading a renewed push to have the council formally oppose state government moves to truncate the city’s rail line on Boxing Day, reports the Newcastle Herald. … The eleventh-hour move in part relies on a separate move from Greens councillors Therese Doyle and Michael Osborne, who will first seek to rescind ...

Plans to develop Newcastle heavy rail corridor may need Act of Parliament

THE state’s transport minister says ‘‘at this stage’’ the government does not believe an Act of Parliament is needed to authorise its plans for Newcastle’s rail corridor, although critics argue one would be needed before any development of the land could occur, reports the Newcastle Herald. … ‘‘The final plans for the corridor have not ...

Premier Mike Baird confirms rail corridor open to development

PREMIER Mike Baird has confirmed land on the Newcastle rail corridor will be up for grabs for development once the heavy rail line is truncated, as reported in the Newcastle Herald. … But the type of development that would be permissible once the heavy rail is gone remains up in the air, ahead of state-owned ...

Hunter Development Corporation manager Bob Hawes interests never fully disclosed to HDC board

HUNTER Development Corporation general manager Bob Hawes has never directly declared a conflict of interest about his Newcastle property holdings at an HDC board meeting, contrary to HDC evidence at the parliamentary inquiry into Newcastle planning issues, reports Joanne McCarthy in the Newcastle Herald. On November 7, HDC chairman Paul Broad answered ‘‘Absolutely’’, when asked ...

Rejuvenation is already underway

Melinda McMullin has an opinion piece in the Newcastle Herald. I LEFT Newcastle 16 years ago and this year returned to a city which was barely recognisable, not only in terms of its transforming cityscape but its political landscape as well. … In a short span of time two Liberal members of Parliament would stand ...

LETTER: Light rail stuck in the tunnel / Wickham interchange not so seamless

A great letter by Andrew Amos of Vacy was published by the Newcastle Herald. HUNTER residents could be excused for being a little sceptical about whether light rail will ever be delivered. Since the December 2012 rail truncation announcement, the publicity about Wickham interchange has described it as an ‘‘integrated transport solution’’, ‘‘state-of-the-art’’, ‘‘a multi-modal ...

Save Our Rail to talk with Baird

Premier Mike Baird and Minister for Hunter Gladys Berejiklian won’t visit Maitland this week but in a backflip will meet with Save Our Rail on Thursday, reports the Maitland Mercury. Save Our Rail had been excluded from a roundtable discussion in Newcastle with other stakeholders and community groups until the Mercury questioned the apparent snub. ...

NSW Govt stonewall about HDC’s Hawes property interests

Save Our Rail is determined to see Baird change his tune. The Newcastle Herald reports that NSW Premier Mike Baird says nothing will derail the December 26 Newcastle rail line removal, despite embarrassing admissions by a government official at a parliamentary inquiry and further revelations about a key player’s Newcastle property interests. … Mr Baird, ...

Wickham interchange traffic chaos

Wickham interchange traffic chaos
IT’S already among Newcastle’s most congested and frustrating traffic intersections, but a draft report suggests the planned Wickham rail interchange will make Stewart Avenue’s intersection with Hunter Street even more of a nightmare, reports the Newcastle Herald. … It shows that three of the four right-hand turn  options currently at the intersection could be eliminated ...