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 manager Bob Hawes was accused of the conflict when he was grilled by members of the Nile committee, investigating Hunter planning decisions, during the first public hearing in Newcastle on Friday.

He rejected a claim from Greens MLC David Shoebridge that he had a vested interest in proposed changes to the Newcastle rail corridor because of his property ownership.

Mr Hawes told the committee that he had recorded his ownership of the premises on HDC’s official public interest register.

Read the full article and vote in the online poll at the Maitland Mercury.