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 advice to be released for public scrutiny, arguing Labor believes the government has ‘‘no legal basis’’ in closing the line on December 26.
Under the Transport Administration Act, the government needs Parliament’s authority to close a rail line.
‘‘A railway line is closed if the land concerned is sold or otherwise disposed of or the railway tracks and other works concerned are removed,” the act states.
In his letter, Mr Robertson told the Premier any tampering or removal of physical infrastructure associated with the operation of the rail line would be ‘‘in breach of the law’’.
If it had no legal advice to rely on, then the government must immediately reverse the decision to close the line.